It's all relative

devious, heh abby
It helps if you know that I had a dream last night/this morning that involved my dad. A lot. More than in recent memory. And even though I posted this almost two years ago, it's still true.

via catvalente 

regyt asks why the world doesn't have a meme where everyone leaves screened comments with what they want to say to to the poster but haven't yet for whatever reason -- and I say, indeed, why not? So! Tell me anything you want me to know - about me, about us, about you, about your mom, whatever you like.

Anonymous comments are enabled, and everything is screened. Tell me something you want to tell me, anonymously or not. If you say you want me to unscreen, I will, happily.


0_o Brennan
This is worth sharing however:

If the recommendations to postpone mammogramming to 50 had been in place in 2000, my mother would be dead.

If the recommendations to postpone PAPs to age 21 had been in place in 1994, I'd be dead.

Thanks health care system!

Awkward moments in bartending

1. A couple with whom I'm having conversation at work. We are the only three in the bar. They are recently delivered of a baby (six months?) and in conversation the woman gets increasingly emotional. As the level of her voice rises, eventually practically yelling "I love you and just want you to PAY SOME ATTENTION TO ME." I could tell where it was going as she started to get louder and walked to the other side of the bar and pretended to do something because seriously? Fucking awkward. Especially because I LIKE both people.

2. Any customer who repeatedly tells my how nice my ass is.

3. Any customer who tells my how nice my ass is and how much/often s/he stares at it by way of a 'cute' anecdote in which another customer tells them to stop drooling because they've been staring so hard/long at my ass. Seriously? This shit is fucking creepy, I don't care WHO you are. And there's no graceful way to take this as a compliment because it's FUCKING SKEEVY.

4. Any customer who tells me they inadvertently called out my name in an intimate act with their own partner. SERIOUSLY. W.T.F. WHY WOULD YOU TELL ME THIS.

In a big city, this shit is a non issue. Hell, in a small to medium sized city this shit is a non issue. I, however, am in a small small town.

I know there's a certain amount of sexual objectification in this job. I get it. Just because I GET it doesn't mean I ENJOY IT.

30% of my customers don't give a shit who's serving the beer, they're coming here to drink because someone here pours drinks. They aren't even aware that I HAVE an ass. If they notice my ass, it's incidental.
10% come in because they think I'm a nice person/like me/like conversation with me.
10% come in because they know I won't freak out if they use the f word and they think I've got a nice ass.
30% come in because they think I'm a nice person/like me/like conversation with me and like my ass.
20% come in because I pour drinks and they like my ass.

I get that. The issue I'm having here is that this is not a high-traffic establishment. If I was getting the sexist horn-dog jive from everyone, it would bother me less (ironically). Instead, this is billed as (and typically feels) more like a 'family' place or neighborhood bar. So in THIS place, I'm not really prepared for the skeevy which therefore in comparison is 100x more skeevy.

By the way, all the aforementioned skeevy comments come from the 30% who like me, think I'm a nice person, and like conversation with me - in addition to liking my ass. They want to be my FRIEND. They are also 20 years older than I am. Turns out, there's not a good way to tell someone they're a skeevy douchebag, that you don't want to be their friend, and continue to make money at this job - at least, not in THIS place. For example, the guy I threw out more than a month ago because he was fucking around and about to get his ass kicked by his drunk friend is still holding a grudge and doesn't come in on my shifts any more. This doesn't hurt my feelings because he's a douchebag and a shitty tipper (not to mention an ass-commenter) but that's indicative of how this town works.

These are also incidentally things I cannot confide in the Spouse about because we have to live here and see these people in the grocery store and every restaurant we might frequent. He will not react well. He knows (peripherally) that this kind of shit happens because he was also a bartender and a bouncer a long time ago. Knowing is different from KNOWING.

At the dive bar, I had similar percentage style customers and the difference was that I didn't see those people as part of my every day life unless I chose to. In that bar, I was myself but I was also a different person because I had to be and that person didn't have much to do with my 'real' life. In a town this size, I don't get much choice in the matter. Instead, I get this trapped feeling and the comments are skeevy enough when they happen that I'm having an increasingly difficult time chuckling or diverting and I can feel that the smile on my face looks forced.

There's a kind of unwritten rule that whatever you think, whatever you use in your spank bank, that's your business and I don't need to know about it (see above re: know vs. KNOW). But when you make those sorts of comments, even in jest, it gives me insight that I DON'T WANT. It makes me UNCOMFORTABLE because you're my NEIGHBOR. You might think it's a compliment if someone says s/he beats it to an image of your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend. It's PROBABLE that under these circumstances, your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend would not.

To make it more clear, the issue isn't specifically the comments. No one has said anything to me that I find to be personally offensive. But my livelihood depends on being able to be nice to people, even when they're saying things that aren't very nice. You think I have a nice ass. Do I find that to be offensive? No. But do I find it charming? Hell no. And I can't tell you that because your business is what secures my job. You tipping me buys my groceries. If I had no financial stake in this, would I call you out on that shit? ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY.

I guess the PSA is this: don't act like you want to be my friend and then say some bullshit to me that you'd NEVER say if my spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/mother was sitting at the bar next to you. And you KNOW you wouldn't say it because you know that shit's inappropriate. If you know it's inappropriate, DON'T SAY IT - at least, not unless you want me to treat you like a skeevy sexist horn-dog douchebag. Which is to say, very politely and nothing more.

Yes. I'm looking for other work.

I'm going to eat some Cocoa Puffs and go the fuck to bed.

mp3 deal

ipod, music
Draw The Line

David Gray's new album $3.99 at Amazon!


I'm not sure who this chick is

nice job, way to go, thumbs up, full of win
But she's possibly my most favoritest movie interviewer EVAR.

Random TV notes

nice job, way to go, thumbs up, full of win
So I started watching two new shows: Dark Blue and Defying Gravity.

Dark Blue is a cop show, with Dylan McDermot. He's pretty much reason alone to watch it but, oddly, he's not why I'm still watching it. He seems to have a tendency to OVERact in this particular drama but it's the Dean character that I find interesting. It's largely because they haven't given viewers a full backstory on him, just hints that he's dipping into the dark side with his undercover life. Anyhow, Dean's why I'm watching the show. We'll see how long that lasts. I'm also perplexed by how the characters seem to use the same undercover idents indefinitely.

Defying Gravity hasn't got a lot of hype (that I've seen) and I've got to say that I'm REALLY enjoying it. I think I've watched all three episodes a couple times each (thanks, hulu!). It helps that there are lots of actors I like on the show but the story is interesting - protracted space journey directed (unbeknownst to most of the participants) by some outside force. In flashbacks, you get the convoluted and tangled backstories of the players and there's some voiceover by the main character. Normally those two things annoy me but this show manages both devices in a non-annoying way. *shrug* I hope it makes it through the summer season. (Incidentally, I find this show to be more compelling than True Blood whose actors by and large appear wooden. Proof that good concept /= good execution.)

Royal Pains has been okay but based on a completely bunk medical proposition, so I'm kind of take it or leave it.

Eureka! is back and I'm pretty much loving it. I'm also loving that Carter might get over Allison because OMG was I tired of that storyline - especially when she went back to the husband. Still annoyed by the moronic SyFy name change.

Wipeout continues to be fantastic.

Project Runway resumes on my birthday. I'm pretty meh about its return. I've also noticed that since it's on Lifetime, all the ads are warm/fuzzy vs. highlighting the crazy/insane.

The Closer has ROCKED it this season - not that it has ever disappointed. It's probably my favorite cop procedural on TV.

Nurse Jackie has been pretty good too. I'm not sure what's going on with nurses on TV, but this show is fantastic. Jackie is a real person, pretty fucked up but dedicated to the job. She has a whole double life thing that's wicked awesome/sad. Also, the tertiary characters aren't caricatures.

Right. Sleep now.

Thngs I have to do today

Remove painting supplies to garage.
Take my stuff upstairs
Vacuum rug
Straighten guest room (if needed)
Laundry (towels

bring down pillows

shake out rugs

Vacuum rug
Arrange chairs

Cover couch
Vacuum rug


make up with 'good' bedcovers

If I have time: mat a couple of the travel posters so that we've got wall decoration on the new walls. Stop convincing husband you are superwoman so that, when you get HALF THE BASEMENT painted in two days, he stops asking why X,Y, Z, are not also done.

There are always firsts

0_o Brennan
This is the first time I've been a little scared to live in my own country.

The quality of rhetoric that's become associated with the "health care" debate has become increasingly intolerant, hysterical, and violent. I'm not sure if it's because there is a larger population who doesn't care to search out facts on their own and simply relies on the television, or if it's because the number of "journalists" who don't need to actually prevent facts has increased. Regardless, what I was thinking yesterday is that even in the heat of the Gore v. Bush debate, I don't recall there being such incredible and widespread anger coupled with ignorance. I'm relieved that I no longer consider myself a Republican.

The other day, I overheard someone in the bar saying that the reason there's an ammunition shortage (there is one, if you haven't heard) in the States is the president's fault. I actually stopped because I couldn't believe it. "Really? How exactly has the president STOPPED AMMUNITION FROM BEING AVAILABLE?" The guy didn't have an answer except to say that Obama doesn't like guns. "Really? So you don't think it's anything at all like oil, where the companies realize they can capitalize on fear, produce less - reducing their costs - and sell it at a higher rate? Nothing about that seems likely? As opposed to THE PRESIDENT preventing ONE INDUSTRY from making their product and it not being covered by a SINGLE NEWS ORGANIZATION?' He looked at me. I shook my head and walked away.

I was a drug rep. I've seen how completely fucked the health care system is from the inside. And while I don't think the government can fix everything, I think they've got to give it a shot because it's clear that given its 'druthers, an industry isn't going to opt for altruistic coverage over their bottom line. I honestly think it has to go a step further and completely eliminate competition in the marketplace. As long as insurance companies are looking to maximize profits, there is NO WAY that they're providing the best care. The government should be looking for an at-best breakeven point.

I keep hearing people bitch about the cost of the healthcare issue. Leaving aside the TRILLIONS we've spent on a war for which we are seeing ZERO benefit (aside from the unfortunate medical advances that invariably accompany battlefield medicine), we're ALREADY PAYING THE COST. When you go to the doctor, your costs are higher because of people who are uninsured, people who are being covered by Medicare/Medicaid (which doesn't reimburse full costs), and people who will not/cannot pay their bills. When you make healthcare a BUSINESS, the companies have to make up those losses somewhere. They charge everyone else MORE. Everyone being YOU AND ME. I've said it before but the government cannot possibly fuck up the healthcare system more than it already is.

If people knew how much money is spent by each drug company in order to try to get their drugs on insurance formularies, they'd keel over. Because if your drug is on formulary EVERY DOCTOR will prescribe it. If it's not, you're shit out of luck. It's why you're increasingly seeing new drugs in 'niche' categories rather than new blood pressure medications. BP meds are a huge market but there's a ton of competition for formulary slots and older, reliable drugs that won't cost patients as much. Not only that, but the formulary FREQUENTLY decides what ORDER you might receive drugs. So your doc thinks a calcium-channel blocker would be best for you (limited side effects, good bp drops) but the formulary says beta blocker (older drug, controls heart rate to lower bp, negative is that when your heart NEEDS to beat faster it can't) first, you get the beta blocker. The bureaucrats currently in charge of your health care are primarily concerned with profit. I'll trade that for bureaucrats who aren't trying to make money ANY DAY.

I had a customer yesterday talking about how he was going to threaten his next doctor with a gun, to get better care. Dude. Your gun makes NO DIFFERENCE. The doc's hands are tied.

But really? A GUN. THAT's what is freaking me out. If violence is our only method of dissent, how are we ANY BETTER than any other country? Have we learned ANYTHING? 

I'm not saying that we shouldn't have discourse because we should. It's a big, messy, complicated issue. I think more physicians should be involved in the process and less insurance companies. I think it should be a comprehensive plan, rather than something rushed through. But disrupting debate by crying how you're afraid for the country doesn't answer ANY questions. The truth is that we DO care how you feel, but we want you to speak about it logically. Tell me your specific concerns. Don't use the terms "socialist", "fascist", or "communist" until you've consulted a dictionary. And for gods sake, STOP LISTENING TO RUSH.

i'll admit that I'm for contribution limits for companies and individuals. In fact, I don't think any company/industry should be allowed a lobby. I think if you run a business, you should have to wait in line just like I do. if you want to influence your congressman, you can do it over the phone and email, the way I HAVE TO. It's not about free speech, it's about unfair advantage. I believe your free speech is protected, but I think you can have the same free speech that everyone else can afford. The more industry/business wanks we get out of the decisions the better the results will HAVE TO BE. Politicians can actually do what they profess to - look out for the country's best interests.

In my lifetime I've never felt so disgusted at the lack of genuine dialogue in favor of sensationalism and small-mindedness. To be fair, I only call it small-mindedness because in the clips I've seen the criers are invariably people talking about "communism" or the country being "stolen". To those people I say: government regulation already impacts your life more than you think about. TV and radio, the food you eat, your safety at your job, your utilities, your roads and sidewalks, your vehicles, et cetera. The government has agencies to help protect your safety. Yes, they're also involved in health care with Medicare and Medicaid. I hear a lot of people bitch about their efficacy. Think about the examples I've listed and then think about the difference: health care is the only place the government is currently providing assistance which is dependent on private companies ALLOWING them to. THAT'S why they're not effective.

It's not like businesses get a CHOICE about complying with OSHA or DOT. But doctors and health systems can refuse to take Medicare and Medicaid patients. No wonder they don't work.

Feh. I'm heartily disappointed in the entire debacle and now have a better understanding of why people just stay away from politics entirely.

Reading list '09

nice job, way to go, thumbs up, full of win
Facebook has apparently maxxed out at 40 books, so I'm going to repost it here.

1. Watchmen, Alan Moore
2. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
3. Peacekeeper, Laura E Reeve
4. Exit Strategy, Kelly Armstrong
5. Bone by Bone, Carol O'Connell
6. Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Cherie Priest
7. Enlightenment for Idiots, Anne Cushman
8. The Labyrinth, Kate Mosse
9. Burning Bright, Tracy Chevalier
10. A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray
11. City of Bones, Cassandra Clare
12. Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
13. Second Skin, Caitlin Kittredge
14. Chalice, Robin McKinley
15. Judge & Jury, James Patterson
16. The Quickie, James Patterson
17. The Reader, Bernhard Schlink
18. Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen
19. Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin
20. Heat Lightning, John Sanford
21. Blindsight, Peter Watts
22. Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
23. Isabella Moon, Laura Benedict
24. Slow Hands, Leslie Kelly
25. Daughter of Hounds, Caitlin Kiernan
26 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Steig Larsson
27. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Cory Doctorow
28. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Austen and Grahame-Smith
29. Bone Crossed, Patricia Briggs
30. The Night Gardener, George Pelecanos
31. Cry Wolf, Patricia Briggs
32. Persuader, Lee Child
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
34. Magic Burns, Ilona Andrews
35. Once Bitten, Twice Shy - Jennifer Rardin
36. The Story Sisters, Alice Hoffman
37. Magic Strikes, Ilona Andrews
38. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer
39. The Grove, John Rector
40. Succubus Blues, Richelle Mead
41. Paranoia, Joseph Finder
42. Storm Born, Richelle Mead
43. Thorn Queen, Richelle Mead
44. Made to be Broken, Kelley Armstrong
45. The Variant, John August
46. The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
47. Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris
48. Living Dead in Dallas, Charlaine Harris
49. Night World No.1, L.J. Smith
50. The List, J.A. Konrath
51. Finger Lickin' Fifteen, Janet Evanovich
52. Caught Stealing, Charlie Huston

Later I'll highlight the 'must reads' and add some commentary.


nice job, way to go, thumbs up, full of win
changes in altitude

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