Shrinks and the people who love us...

While slicing up some fabric with an X-Acto knife...

eeka: "Self-healing cutting mat my ass."
Molly: "Hey, it might just not be quite ready to."

Dear radio

If I wanted to hear about a tv show no fewer than five times today, I
would have a tv. People listen to the radio -- and documentary-type
radio in particular -- to hear about news, not to hear endless recaps
of some goddamned fictional tv show.

Delores Handy word of the day

"Minnesota twens"

One of this weekend's projects

I made a mosaic on an unused chimney on our roof terrace. It's made completely out of reclaimed materials -- tiles removed during bathroom renovation, some terra cotta and glazed ceramic pots that broke, some turquoise dinner plates that broke, a Chinese sauce dish that broke, and a blue vodka bottle that I smashed up for this purpose. It's affixed with waterproof indoor/outdoor tile adhesive and I'm debating whether I want to grout it. Click through for detailed photos.

Making fun of people's names, workplace edition

This isn't quite up there with Miss Bus, but I was recently reminded of a former coworker.

Several years back, I worked in a medical/rehab setting with an, um, interesting man. He was an ex-Marine, complete with the buzzcut and types of views held by stereotypical Caucasian Marines. As in, he was the sort of guy who you met and immediately knew he was probably married to a Southeast-Asian woman (and he was), but you didn't get the impression this was because he found his soul mate and she happened to be of this origin, or that he was someone who was excited about having a multicultural household and sharing their backgrounds with one another. The guy's mentality was particularly jaw-dropping in that he wasn't an older guy -- he was in his mid '30s and had a toddler -- and that he had completed a bachelor's degree in, hmm, I think English or History -- definitely something more humanities-like than just a degree that you get because your job made you get one.

One particularly memorable aspect of this guy was learning -- from him -- that he had asked around and found out how old I was and also had made note of which salary range I was in. Keep in mind that my position required a licensable master's degree, and my job entailed doing diagnostic workups and assessing individuals to determine things like whether they could safely leave the locked unit and whether they needed more frequent nursing checks. This man's job required a high school diploma and experience working with people, and his job was to run groups using a preformulated curriculum. During a friendly conversation one day in which we were both making small talk about normal-old job annoyances such as the copier being broken and staff meeting running over into lunch or whatever, he told me he just could not understand how the administration was paying me more than him when I was only 23 or 24 or whatever I was at the time. He explained how he had seen that I was on some list as being in a higher pay bracket than him (duh?) and had asked around to find out just how old I was. I kind of shrugged it off, mentioning that they figure out the pay based on the responsibilities and the types of education required. He got really animated at this point, explaining that he'd worked there for five years, had military experience, was married, and had a kid -- all reasons in his mind why he should make more than I did. To which the only thing I could think of was a quick, "ah, I see what you're saying...OK, seeyalater!"

Another fun time with this man was after a staff meeting in which I had a friendly disagreement with a coworker of Muslim and Middle-Eastern origin. Afterward, he came up to me, slapped me on the back, and said, "you can't let her get to you." I told him she and I usually were on great terms, and we'd just disagreed about something, not a big deal. He said, "yeah, really, you can't worry about anything she things -- they're all terrorists anyway." At this point I really felt sorry for the man, and I calmly explained to him that I really didn't believe this, and that this maybe wasn't the sort of thing to say in the workplace. "It's true though. It's the only reason they come here," was his reply. Again with the, "uh, seeyalater."

At this point it's probably worth mentioning that this guy's last name was Seaman. Which ordinarily would be only slightly funny, but it was a bit more funny considering what a trainwreck this man was. And that he had been, um, a seaman. What made it really funny though was when another coworker mentioned that Mr. Seaman had a tattoo on his bicep of a cartoon sperm that said "Seaman" on it. Of course we all wanted to see it, so someone went up to him and said, "Hey I heard you have a cool Seaman tattoo...can I see?" He reluctantly pulled up his sleeve, and sure enough, there it was. Which really slightly redeemed this guy in my mind. I thought it was rather awesome, really. Except that apparently that afternoon he went crying to one of the bosses about how people were making fun of his name and making fun of a tattoo that he got when he was young and in the military and regretted getting. Apparently it was someone else's fault that people at work knew about the tattoo this guy had on his arm considerably above his sleeve line.

Seriously, ACLU and

I keep getting e-mails from ACLU and about Facebook's privacy practices. I agree that the practices are a bit shady and I fully support people increasing awareness of exactly what the privacy issues are, and I also support individual members of Facebook making petitions and whatnot to let the administrators know that a lot of users dislike the practices.

But the ACLU and getting involved? Really? These are high-powered organizations with lawyers and connections and a lot of funding. How about if they stick to matters where either the government is doing something it oughtn't or where someone is violating someone's civil rights?

Again, while I don't necessarily like Facebook's policies, it's a private website in which I choose to participate, and I agree to their policies by partaking in the site. There's no civil rights violation occurring when I willingly sign up to participate in a private web community and then willingly allow various people and applications access to the profile that I willingly created. Sure, they could stand to be a bit more upfront in how information can be accessed, but if I don't like it, I'm free to quit using it and/or to contact the administrators and express my opinions.

I thought the ACLU's whole thing was protecting the constitutionality of free expression, even if the particular expression is distasteful. I don't particularly like that most user agreements consist of 2893748327483 pages of fine print with big lawyer words that I don't want to take the time to look up, but it's perfectly legal and constitutional for a private organization to do such a thing, and it's my tough luck if I agree to a policy without taking the time to understand it (provided it's not coming from a type of organization that does have the obligation to ensure that informed consent). Is it ethical or moral to con people into agreeing to something slightly sketchy? Probably not, but it's certainly not illegal. Participating in Facebook is hardly something we have an unalienable human right to access.

Because I'm just that much of a 12-year-old boy

Seriously, can the news outlets not find a better choice of phrase than "Obama taps Kagan?" perhaps a little too objective?

I appreciate that BPDnews reports on calls that aren't crimes per se,
such as this incident of a truck backing into a pedestrian:

(will make real link when not on iPhone)

But they leave out even the slightest hint of fault here. Since a
pedestrian was stepping behind a parked car, I'm nearly certain that
either a) the pedestrian wasn't in a crosswalk or b) the truck was
parked too close to the crosswalk if he was in one, and entered it
without a full scan across it. But there's no mention that either
party was breaking the law (and ignoring basic safety guidelines in
either case) -- they make it sound like just some freak accident.

And really? They couldn't bother with even a quick "BPD reminds
pedestrians never to walk out between parked cars" warning? Or, if the
case, "BPD reminds drivers to notice crosswalks." They've included
other such "duh" reminders, like the frequent mentions that people in
West Roxbury should lock their doors or that people shouldn't leave
phones and GPSs sitting out in cars.

Delores Handy OMG

Did she really just say "apuortant?"

An open letter to that girl at the bra store

Dear girl at the bra store:

I don't know how you manage to do it, but every single time I buy bras, you somehow have occasion to be shopping at the bra store at the same time. It doesn't matter where I make my purchase, whether locally or out of state. Or even in another country where my bra size is some godawful huge number like 90 and they can't at least make it up to me by giving me a smaller letter to go with the huge number, but that's not really the point.

Now, I can understand why you might hang out at places like Target where they mostly sell the S/M/L lines of cartoon character panties with the matching not-really-bras. I expect to find you there. But what I don't understand is why you show up at every single sort of bra store. You even manage to show up in the places that specialize in expensive "full-figure" bras.

Like, today, for instance. There I was, in the fitting room at Lady Grace, thinking I had scored the best possible bra-shopping outcome in that I had successfully convinced the saleslady (and I do mean "lady," not "person") that I definitely knew what size I wore, and I had managed to get escorted into the fitting room with no offers of following me in and groping me while I tried them on. But no, girl at the bra store, you just had to show up and ruin it all, didn't you?

So I'm in the fitting room, where I had mistakenly decided to try the racerback version of an old standby compression/sports/minimizing/cramming-them-in-as-tight-as-possible bra. After I decided I didn't like the effect it created wherein it made my back fat into an extra set of boobs shooting out of my armpits, I started to take it off, simultaneously strangling myself and nearly amputating my arms, when I heard your voice from the next fitting room and realized you had followed me to the bra store yet again.

After using extreme adjectives and way too much squeaky inflection in commending the salespers--er--lady for being so absolutely completely totally right about which size would work best, you had to go and tell her it wasn't soft enough. Not only was it not soft enough, but it felt too much like a bra. I wasn't sure exactly what it was you thought you were buying, but then you clarified for me -- you like them to feel really like you're not wearing one. As I tried on the next bra, which managed to have nice support along with some most excellent plates of armor along the sides for holding in the armpit fat and some up top for ensuring there would be no quadraboob issues, you loudly explained to her how you really only need to have them around at all for those activities where you just really have to wear a bra.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm clearly someone who values all body types, and I find derogatory comments about skinny people as offensive as those toward fat people. I mean, come on, girl at the bra store, it's not that I object at all you or anyone else having no boobs. I don't have any opinions about your boobs at all. I don't even know you or your boobs. In fact, I'm not sure I've even seen any more of you than the occasional hand-tossing-the-too-braish-bra-over-the-door. It's just that I don't understand why you insist on following me all over the world to every bra store I've ever been into. I mean, you can't possibly need very many bras, given your avowed lack of need for them. So I really don't get why you shop for them at least as much as a very-much-bra-needing gal like myself does. And really, couldn't you at least offer to pair up with me on a bra club card so I could get some free stuff out of having an unsolicited bra-store buddy? Is that too much to ask?