Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Peter Benchley, Sharks and Risk

Peter Benchley, Author of Jaws, died recently (February 11). It was in all of the papers.

I was first introduced to Peter Benchley's writings one summer, bikini-clad and reading Jaws by the poolside. The novel was written in 1975 – and my copy was probably that old, but I was reading it years later. You know how paperbacks fan out over time – this copy was well-loved. I read it feet from water (not a smart move), baking in the mid-day sun. I was riveted, scared, and could not put the book down. I hated Peter Benchley for months. I could not go to the coast that summer; luckily the school year helped erase those memories.

Goodbye Mr. Benchley. You entertained and frightened millions.

Peter Benchley's obituary got me to thinking about risk. What is riskier, a snake or a shark? More specifically, which animal kills more people per year, a snake or a shark? One would think "shark" but that would be wrong. The answer is snake. There is an average of 15 fatalities from snakes, 0.4 from sharks. Remember, these are just averages. We are not talking about a shark biting 0.4 of a person per year.

But here is what I find fascinating – can you think of an animal that is 325 times more likely to kill someone in the US than a shark? Okay, I know what you are thinking – the domestic dog. Sorry. Try again. Dogs kill about 17 or 18 people per year.

The answer may surprise you – deer kill about 130 people per year. Okay, so the people kill most of those deer by running into them. Yes, Uncle Fred might run into Bambi – and Bambi, because she has not jazzercised, is so heavy that she kills Uncle Fred. Not that Bambi wanted to kill him.

So the next time you slow down to see the deer on the side of the highway, just picture a shark fin – and they are way more deadly than a shark!

Monday, February 27, 2006

On the Edge of Sanity

The other day, I took sort of a mental day from blogging. Technically, I still wrote something, but my "Bitch on Retreat" entry was a long-winded way of saying, "I don't want to blog today because there is this person I don't know who wants to express herself. And she scares me."

And I started thinking of mental illness. You know, neuroses and psychoses. Okay, the last time I was in a classroom discussing these was a few years ago, well more than a few years ago, but it is hard to claim to be 29 with so much real world experience. In the grand scheme of things, psychosis is worse than neurosis. Well, I should say that those with a psychosis find it more difficult to interact with the real world. Maybe those with serious psychoses have are better off than the rest of us, but I digress.

I was thinking about, and this is the technical term, "crazy people" the other day. I have actually seen a crazy person – someone with one heck of a psychosis – someone that had several personalities, who ate parts of his own body (and I am not talking about chewing fingernails). But when I was interacting with this individual, one thing that kept racing through my mind was, "but by the grace of God, that could be me." And my mood the last few days sort of reinforced that perspective.

Now I am not saying I am some sort of nut job – because I am not. Sure, I have my own inner demons, but most of us do. But if I was born into a different situation, where my parents beat me or abused me, where they did terrible things to me, perhaps I would have coped by becoming a nut job.

I have actually worked with someone (a different person) who did not have a real grasp on reality. He was a sweet old man, and he had spent most of his life institutionalized. He lived in what could be described as a "half way house," where he had structure, communal living, and a family, and he worked half days performing custodial tasks.

You could not talk with him about philosophy or politics, but he like talking about dogs. He understood dogs, and he would tell you about them. And I saw him with dogs, not his, mind you, but any stray dog that would come around. Dogs I would cross the street to avoid, he would talk with, pet, and love. It always scared me – that he would get hurt – but to my knowledge, he never got bitten, scratched or harmed.

So part of my reason for not really wanting to expand on my bitchiness (let the bitch out, as Muse so eloquently said; she writes like a poet, that girl), was that the bitch scares me. Not that I would not trade places with my old man friend, but I really don't want to eat my own skin.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Pretending to be Smart

When I was in high school – and, embarrassingly, in college as well – I would play dumb on occasion. You see, if you liked a guy, he had to be smarter than you. And I liked some fairly average guys – who were sweet and handsome and had other attributes. So dumb I played.

But now, sometimes I play smarter than I am. I have a fairly good memory, and I can make assumptions and draw conclusions that are more often right than wrong. And those attributes can cause the illusion of being smarter than one is.

First, I have all of these words in my brain. Take entropy, for instance. Entropy is a chemical term, having something to do with the universe tending to become less ordered over time. That's about all I know about it. And I vaguely remember that it is one of the "Laws of Thermodynamics". Okay, that's all I remember. But if I, off the cuff, say something has little to do with the second law of thermodynamics, it sounds darned impressive, but I am not really saying anything. Level of intelligence – not much. Perceived level of intelligence: high.

The other day, someone said something about "To Kill a Mockingbird." Okay, I read the story in high school – we probably all did. I remember two things about the story: the auther (Harper Lee) and a character (Boo Radley). Truth be told, I am not sure I liked the book very much. But I added the following to the conversation – "isn't it amazing that Harper Lee did not write any other books." She wrote that one American classic, and not a thing more. Again, level of intelligence – not much. Perceived level of intelligence: high. I offered no real analysis of the story – heck, I can't even remember what it is about. But I remember the author's name, and a vague notion that the author never wrote another story, and I am a literary critic. Score!

Neals Bohr, the Kinsey Report, IP address, Albert Einstein was married to Mileva (who he divorced), Eli Whitney and the cotton gin, "The Origin of Species", Lincoln and Douglas debated. All of these things are random facts. In fact, they are little nuggets that are stuck in my brain, and I know little more than what I have written. People, however, make assumptions – they assume you know more than you say. So if I happen to remember Einstein's wife's name, I may know more about the theory of relativity. Completely fallacious, but I can tell you, people subconsciously make this assumption all of the time.

In short, various facts may make one appear to be smarter than one is.

A few weeks ago, I made a comment on Mike's blog, something about "denial of service." I really don't know about these types of attacks, but I joked that the reason he had 20-40 comments per day, but 500 visits, is that I was (or someone else was) performing a "denial of service" attack on his blog. Again, I know little about this, but the assumption is that I know more than I am saying.

Funny that I pretended to be dumb so guys would like me, and now – more out of a game – I pretend to be smarter than I am.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bitch on Retreat

There are times when it is difficult to blog. This is one of those times. Normally, I am a fairly jovial person – and I don’t take myself too seriously. Today, yesterday and the day before, I feel like there is someone inside of me, some bitch that wants to exert her will using my body.

And I am not talking about lifting my shirt and displaying my breasts – or fucking some random person. I feel icky today, like I want to spew venom. I want to criticize people. But that is what I want, and I have some control over what I do. The world can be such a beautiful place, and to help keep some of the beauty, I will be not blogging today.

And while I am busy not doing stuff, I will also not be googling. I feel crappie anyway, and I did not google anything yesterday. Two days in a row. Wait a minute, was it three days in a row? Well, I better stop before I insult anyone. There is a bitch in me today, and she is clawing to get out.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Interrupted Thoughts - 2nd Post Today

"Music gives wings of freedom to the enslaved."
- The Muse Box

This was written by a fellow blogger. It is quite a beautiful sentence, the kind of sentence you want rattling around in your brain, turning the phrase, looking for meaning.

In America, the word "slavery," "enslaved" and the like, have a lot of baggage – and rightly so. The United States was one of the last countries to emancipate slaves, doing it far later than most other "first world" countries. Now, I don't want to get into why this was – as books have been written about it. Suffice it to say, because of this history, "enslave" carries much deserved baggage.

But if you are trapped in a cage or with shackles, what good are wings? And the answer, perhaps makes all of the difference. I am going to expand this a bit – I want to think of the enslaved as those trapped, caged, or whatever. During WWII, many were trapped in Concentration Camps throughout Europe (and in the US; ironic how this country, land of the free and all, has many blots on its reputation). One such trapped person was a priest (Bishop Neuhausler) in one of these concentration camps (Dachau) – actually, many priests were housed at Dachau, as there was even a "priest cell" and specific "priest patch" worn on their clothes. Father Neuhausler survived Dachau – and he of course, was asked why he survived when others did not. It was not singing or music, but prayer, that helped him. I have heard other accounts – the hostage crisis in the late 70's, for instance, and the people who did well mentally had something in common – many had prayer, but others had a vision of them after leaving captivity. They willed themselves to believe in their future. And I can see music helping this.

Music allows us to share in one another's emotions – perhaps in a deeper way than writing affords. Actually, I have changed my blog a bit, and started reading an audio blog – more of a music blog. Plus, when I visit others blogs, I enjoy the music more.

For instance, when visiting n-search the other day, I heard a wonderful song that I would not have heard otherwise. I just checked GP's site to get her URL (she sometimes but not always has music streaming), and she has a very powerful post. It sort of derailed my thinking.

Crap. Well, this is a bit unusual, but I am going to stop my post now. Go over to GP's site, but be warned, there are some very gruesome photographs concerning America's past. Sorry – but at least you get two posts today. One crappy one earlier today, and this, unfinished one.

Peace.

Ms. Insensitive

You know, I have noticed a lot of negative messages lately.

On someone else's site, somebody corrected someone for their description of the type of poetry written – and please don't ask me to remember what it was. Iambic Pentameter. That's not it, but it's one of those things most of us have forgotten since high school literature.

From my own commenters, I have seen a little bit of biting as well. Someone said something about my Atlanta comment. Apparently solo was hurt, and lashed out at Savannah. The traffic in Atlanta is bad, and I would never live there. Not a real slam, I thought. I did not say anything about the Atlanta Braves. Just strange.

He did say he was kidding after I wrote this. Darn! Guess I am a little sensitive right now, even after writing insensitive comments.

And then when I mentioned something about GLM (good looking mother/mom/mum), an RN said, "I never have seen this in any charts." Now, this person is a friend of ~debs, which makes her seem like a good person. Some people have good halos around them, and in my little brain, ~deb is one of those people.

From Doctors deny insulting patients with slang: The report by British doctor, Adam Fox has revealed for the first time the extensive medical slang used by some doctors to insult patients, or even colleagues. It notes that the age-old practice of medical slag has been dying out, due mainly to the number of lawsuits and the dangers involved in odd acronyms appearing on medical notes.

It was a common term that was once used in pediatric populations. But as this article (and others) suggest, litigation is taking this type of charting out of the medical records. Some of those slang terms, though, probably were more evident in Great Brittan. Or England. You know, those two islands off of Europe confuse me – I mean, does Great Brittan consist of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales (with the exception of Northern Island). I really don't know, and I don't want to google it right now (see Prata's discussion on Google – I am boycotting them today, in honor of Prata). I visited once, and they all had their own money – but I think it was more like the state quarters, you could use them in the various parts. But I never got to Ireland, and I wanted to go there. Irish Stew and all. Irish Sweaters. Irish Setters. Man, that rock in the North Sea sure does put out product!

Back to me, please. Focus (said to me, not my kind reader). These little comments really don't bother me; or maybe they do. If I was writing better – thinking better – perhaps I would not even have noticed them. But I am in a bit of a funk.

These seem like little things, I am sure.

I have been reading Prata's new blog – I think some have gotten lost looking for it since it is not on Google's Blogger anymore. But it makes one think.

I am a bit sensitive right now – and I can tell that funny comments sometimes get to me. And it is not only here – part of the reason is I got a little promotion recently, and it has become the bane of my existence. For an extra $2,000/year, I have to work full time now. You see, before, if I was honest with myself, I was working perhaps 15 good hours per week. Now it looks like I have to work 32 hours per week (I am actually at work 40 hours per week, but you know what I mean).

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Medical Slang

I was looking something up the other day, and it had a link to Medical Slang in Wikipedia. Okay, whenever I google something and Wikipedia shows up as a link, I click on it.

Well, they had a list of medical slang. It sort of reminded me of other slang – g used the term MILF the other day. That is sort of slang. When I first heard the term MILF, like a dumb ass, I asked what it meant. "Mother's I'd Like to Flirt with" was the answer I was given. Dumb ass me then said, I think the letters don't accurately reflect the phrase. Must have been made by a school teacher who hated prepositions. A fairly religious person told me it was "Mother's I'd Like to Fondle". By then, I had sort of guessed the true meaning of the word.

The only medical slang I have read about is GLM - "good looking mom/mum". Apparently this acronym actually makes it in to the medical record of pediatric patients, and more than one defense attorney has used the acronym to show that the medical professional was "less than professional" during malpractice suits. Really.

Some of the acronyms which are a tad disturbing follow:
  • ATFO - "asked to fuck off", instructed to go away
  • CTD - "circling the drain" (expected to die soon)
  • DBI - "dirt bag index" - a number calculated from number of tattoos and missing teeth
  • TTR - "tooth to tattoo ratio," a synonym of DBI
  • LGFD - "looks good from door"; used to describe a difficult patient that you do not want to enter the room and interact with
  • PBTB - "pine box to bedside"; indicates an imminent demise

What disturbs me a little is that these acronyms give us a peek into what some physicians think of their patients. Most physicians are paid well in the US, and some show real contempt for those less educated than them (that would be almost everyone, by the by).

I like my physician – I don't see her often, but she always seems to treat me well. She is part of an all female practice. That's not why I picked her; she takes the health plan I have, and a co-worker suggested her.

I felt a little funny about going to the same physician as a co-worker. Not that this would happen, but I seemed to feel like the physician would tell the co-worker stuff about me. Again, faulty logic. It happens at the hairdressers, and one subconsciously assumes that the pattern holds.

Sometimes I feel bad for physicians. I mean, sure they make lots of money, people respect them, and they live in large houses. But buxom nurses throw themselves at them, they have to find places to park their money to avoid taxes, and they have to hire house staff. What a freaking bother.

Monday, February 20, 2006

C-c-c-cold Outside

You know, it is cold outside. It is so cold outside.

I am not talking about real cold weather – those of you in Minnesota know what cold weather is really like. But here in Georgia, our blood must be thin, because whenever the mercury goes below freezing, we start complaining of the weather. Okay, and when I mention "freezing", you can assume I am talking about anything under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. What can I say, I am from Georgia.

I think God wanted us to be warm. The Garden of Eden was a warm paradise, where all you needed was less than a fig leaf. I know there are some agnostics or atheists reading this, and before you question if there is a God, please remember what Benjamin Franklin said: "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Perhaps I converted someone with this quote. It sways me.

Getting back to cold weather, I can't help but think about the Winter Olympic Games. Now, I have not watched a minute of the Games. I know I should have watched part of it, but I don't like to be cold, and watching the games makes me cold.
Bryant Gumbel, on Real Sports, made fun of the games the other day, and I think everyone was focusing on the following sentence: "So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention." Funny thing is that I heard the remarks in their entirety, and the first thing I thought was wrong was that he quoted Thomas Paine ("These are the times that try men's souls.") and suggested that Paine thought this of the Winter Olympics. Of course, Paine never heard of the Winter Games, as they started in the 20th Century. Okay, I am guessing here, but let's pretend this is right. That's what infuriates me – that he misleads children on historic events. Okay, a little over the top. I think Gumbel was trying to be funny, and, well, it wasn't funny to some.

Personally, I used to watch the Winter Games. And I may watch the figure skating. And, for curiosity's sake, I like watching Bobsledding, Luge, and other sports. Curling is fascinating, really. To think you can get Olympic Gold for sweeping ice in front of the stone. I mean really, if you have a gold medal in your possession, what difference does it make if you were a sweeper or you won the gold in the decathlon? Gold is gold.

I went to work today, though I wanted to curl up in bed and read a book. Did I mention it is cold in Georgia?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Permanence

I have been thinking about permanence lately. Blogs are ethereal, they disappear, they are a temporary medium. Funny thing is that there are programs available that make them more permanent. These websites clip much of the web, but normally don’t start clipping until after a site has been up for six months. And, you know what, most blogs don’t make it that long.

Books on the other hand, are much more permanent. How often have you browsed a book that was published at the turn of the century? And for the most part, these books are relatively inexpensive – check out Ebay and see. Ebay gives one a relative price, and you can find many for less than you could buy a book at Barnes and Nobel. Of course, B&N is perhaps one of the most overpriced booksellers in the nation, so this is not that surprising. But I digress (what else is new).

The other day, I was waiting in line in a grocery store. Relax, this is not another digression – the introduction was the digression.

"Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive."
- Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808)


I was people-watching, almost unintentionally. There was this cute little boy and he was having a hard time. Actually, I think he was just being a boy, but his mother was having a hard time. She raised her voice, hit him, and I was thinking to myself, "Poor guy. Shopping sucks." But mother was tired, embarrassed, whatever, and she lost control. And I wondered about the boy, his home life, and whether he will remember this little even years from now.

Our lives, our physical lives are likewise not permanent. We only spend a short time here on Earth – and then we are gone. But are our effects on Earth may be felt long after our deaths. Those with children, I would think, have a larger impact on the world. Those who influence others, whether they are little boys in a grocery store, or elderly women alone years after husbands have died.

What we want, I believe, is to leave a footprint on this world, whatever that may be. For some of us, it could be writing a book, for others, building a large family home on the coast, for still others, inventing something. For me, I hope to leave this world a little better off than I found it.

I have planted trees – and I wonder if that will have even a greater impact. Can you imagine having an oak tree, alive several hundred years after you die? A huge oak, limbs reaching skyward. Personally, I think I would rather impact the little boy.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I'd Like to See You in My Office

Okay – I'd like to start out with a disclaimer. I am not a manager. I don't aspire to be a manager, and I have never been a manager.

It is more because of employee self-preservation than anything else. You see, were I a manager, I think I would be an awful manager because of my faulty logic. You see, I would look at my pool of employees as subjects meant to do my bidding. I would think to myself, "My car needs a fresh coat of wax. Either I could spend my valuable time performing this menial task myself, or I could order one of my employees to wash and wax the car myself. And since I am a manager instead of a serf, the car would be really nice and need waxing. I would not think about how the serfs would take my commands.

"You, 23-year-old hunk of an accountant, take off your shirt and wax my car."

See, I would understand that having the cute blond waxing my car adds to the bottom line of the company because I could be doing my creative thinking for the company. My employees, however, would soon ban together and form a plan to kill me, disposing of my body in a local lake. This would suck because, among other things, I would not be able to drive my freshly waxed car. So I don't want to be a manager.

That being said, the one phrase that makes me almost want to wet myself is when my manager says, "I'd Like to See You in My Office." Now I don't know about you, but when my manager says that phrase, I am seldom thinking, "Oh, crap, my manager is going to shower praise on me again." It is more along the lines of thinking about what evidence still exists and how I can shift blame to my co-worker with the perky breasts. My thought is, "God needs to even things out a bit more around here."

And I don't think most managers understand this. They think to themselves that they are being professional, making sure that the conversation occurs behind closed doors. Do they get the same feeling when their bosses say that? Do they pee in their britches?

And speaking of these behind closed door tongue lashings, what I don't understand is that more women don't, upon exiting the meeting, don't pull their blouses out from their skirts and stagger out, saying, "Mr. Martin attached me in there."

Getting back to my little statement about praise, I find it interesting that managers who have a responsibility for the success of their unit give such little praise. I mean, it is the employee-serfs that are carrying the rocks, breaking their backs. And the manager gets the credit for assembling the team, motivating, whatever. How often do you think you succeed at work in spite of your manager? Your work can be quantified in many instances – and to some extent, your manager's contributions to the company are less critical, less quantitative. I know a lot of managers read these blogs – because they have the time. And there are good managers everywhere. But it seems that the good manager is the exception rather than the rule. Can you imagine a conversation that starts, "I'd Like to See You in My Office," and ends with "Here is your raise, you deserve it." The middle of the conversation containing specific examples of how the employee contributes to the success of the company. And that type of conversation being expected so that an invitation to be seen in an office is not followed by feelings of dread or dirty panties.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Random Comment – Vote for Rachael

If you would like to vote for something today, go over to The Sound Bytes of My Life and leave a comment vote for Rachael.


Here is Rachael's entry:

I am 33 with three kids. I have been married for 8 years. There isn't a lot I haven't done, and I am still going strong. People describe me as "wild," "off the hook," and "hilarious." My flirtatious nature makes men lose their heads, and I am often propositioned. I eat this up. I am a tease... a dirty rotten tease, but people don't seem to mind. I am a party-girl and a hell of a lot of fun, but with the smarts to avoid any real trouble. If chosen, I vow to continue doing what I do best: writing, partying, and making fun of other people. I do my best to make the world a better place by dancing with the guy that no one will dance with... listening to the old drunk guy when everyone else is sick of his stories, and saving motherless kittens.

Plus, I caught on fire, man! People who catch on fire should win things! Rock on!

As Always.... Rachael


And if you go to her site, you will be able to see her cute butt! I removed the image because I normally don't have images on this site.

Fitting In

I am still sick, so if this post sucks, bite me. A good friend used to say "bite me" all of the time – it was so annoying. I was tempted to bite her. But I didn't. The nun in me trying to get out; compassionate, reserved, forgiving.

One of my favorite people in blogdom is Georgia Peach. She recently had a contest, where she asked several multiple choice questions about herself. Well, actually a lot of questions – ten or so. They were thoughtful questions, and a bunch of us tried answering them. I ended up "winning" the contest – but Ms. Peach will not have to generate a Form 1099-G (IRS form for gambling income and other winnings). I won a bunch of yummy half-nekkid men. Sort of cramps the nun style, but let's face it, I am no nun. I love Ms. Peach, not in a "covering her privates with Saran Wrap" sort of way, but in a sister sort of way – she reminds me of me when I was younger. And I think I had a bit of an advantage – I am her. Not really. I have read her blog since she started.

She got me to thinking. She placed an Enya song on her site – because she knows I like Enya. And Enya is not her cup of tea. She said that Enya and Stevie Nicks sort of hurt her brain. She actually said, "my head is still spinning from my attempt to listen to Enya and Stevie Nicks......whoo." I get that was when listening to rap. It is so complicated music to me – when you look at the words, it is poetry. And then there is a complicated beat, and all of a sudden, my head is spinning, and I really don't get the full meaning of the song. Some of the songs I like immediately, but I can't really truly appreciate all of the nuances of the music. My ears are not trained to distinguish the differences.

And then my mind started drifting to differences between cultures. You see, I am white, and although I have several black friends, I don't fit into their culture. Don't get me wrong, we are good friends, but I have completely different experiences – and I cannot claim to be part of this culture. It reminds me of a discussion I had many years ago. A black friend explained it this way. When she enters a room and she sees someone else who is black, she breaths a little easier. Even if she does not know the person, there is some sort of connection. I don't know if this feeling is universal – probably not, as nothing seems to be universal. But I have heard similar things from Jewish friends.

And, you see, I am white. And I don't have that feeling. I see another white person and I don't really think anything. I am not more comforted. I don't feel connected. And as strange as it sounds, I sort of feel cheated. I mean, had I been brought up in an Italian family (a la ~Deb), maybe I would feel some sort of connection with other Italians. Who knows, perhaps Video X feels the same way about hashers. I don't know.

I want to belong to a group – but I am white. I know there have historically been disadvantages from being in certain minority groups. But being white, I don't really belong to a group, not in the way described. Part of the reason I like reading others' blogs is that I get to know a bit more about others. People from other cultures, people from other nations, people from other sexual orientations. It might not be obvious from my posts, but people fascinate me. Not in a scientific and test tube way, but in a relationship, awe-inspiring sort of way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

St. Valentine's Day and Fast Food

This weekend, I was eating by myself in a “fast food restaurant.” And I love to people watch. Luckily for me, this restaurant was full of interesting people. I saw a family of 6 – husband, wife, and four children, from about four to eleven or twelve years old. And the husband was asking the children to open their hands, something I could tell they had done countless times. Like a well-oiled machine, each child got a dollop of Purell (or some other kind of hand sanitizing lotion). To me, it was cute – amusing. It just made my meal.

Oh, how I love to watch children play. The eleven-year-old daughter was chanting, “Miss me, miss me, now you gotta kiss me.” And then she thought about it, and said something like, “gross, nevermind.” She said that her nine year old brother was “ugly” and he was a handsome boy. Siblings. Wife was subdued, demure. Husband strong, the head of the household. In an instant, I wondered about them – if the wife and I could switch places, what my life would be like. Would I be happier, more complete?

For the sake of equal time, if I could change with the husband – how about a lesbian couple with four well-behaved children. Would people still whisper behind my back if I was married to a woman, had wonderful children, a great job, a good life. Would people still look at me funny when we were at McDonald’s, me placing dollops of hand sanitizer on my children. Why would I not kiss my love in public, when I freely do so now? Because heterosexual kisses are socially more acceptable in the Bible Belt. Am I that worried about what people think? Probably.

I saw a boy and girl in the fast food restaurant playing, sharing their toys. At that moment they may have not had a care in the world. I looked at their father – I am guessing here. He was reading a newspaper. His adorable children were sharing a special moment, and he was casually reading the paper. Life comes at us fast – and he was letting this moment go by unnoticed.

I sometimes wonder about marriage – about why people enter marriage. I am bumping through life with someone to share it with. Is it enough that we have each other to share moments with. Sort of like life is less special without someone to share in the joys and the heartaches. When I was in college, I once said that I could live life as a nun and be content. Cloistered in a Church, reading, praying, learning. I thought about that life. I did not have a calling – I just wondered if I could live that way. I think a lot of Catholic girls wonder the same thing.

Today is Valentine’s Day. A whole day about romance, being together, love. I have expectations on Valentine’s Day – I expect a gift, a dinner and a bit of romance. Funny thing is that when hubbie does this on another day, I enjoy it more. It is more special. This is one of those compulsory holidays – things are expected, and hubbie doesn’t get full credit when he gives me what is expected. Sort of a rip-off. Something that started out as a Catholic Feast Day and now it is so different.

You know, I wonder what fast food restaurants are like during Valentine’s Day. Would the scenes be loving, lovely, or pathetic? I mean, would I see an over-stressed family getting a bite to eat, not even realizing it is Valentine’s Day. Or would I see teenage lovers, lips entangled, exchanging cheap jewelry that means so much more than it is ever worth. To see the necklace twenty years later, having some of the gold plate worn off from “that boy who you dated in high school.” That scrap of jewelry that you would not dream of wearing today but it brings a smile to your face. Perhaps Valentine’s Day is for those memories. Teenaged love – a way of forcing commitment from a boyfriend’s lips. Not really romantic, but you remember it differently.

Happy Valentine’s Day – hoping you have a good one no matter how you spend it.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Calling in Sick

Cough, cough, hack, hack.

You may have noticed that I have not posted yet today – I called in sick this morning, and I slept. I really hate calling in sick, partly because of the "act". I have to sound like I am teetering on life and death, ensuring that the only reason I am not going to work is that I am selfless – I have a horrible disease, and I do not wish to spread said disease to my co-workers.

Cough, cough, hack, hack.

You see, when I am sick, I don't really sound all that bad. When I have a cold, of all things, I sound horrible – like I have just been released from the Intensive Care Unit. I simple, fairly non-spreadable cold. I read somewhere that once you have cold symptoms, you are most likely past the infectious stage. And I sound like crap then.

But if I have something more serious, I sound fine. Delightful. Heathy. Just my luck, because I don't sound sick for my boss. Part of me wants some thermometer that I can plug in the computer, so I can prove I have a symptom that would require me to miss work. I know, what would keep me from placing the thermometer in a cup of very warm water (but I think it would be fairly hard to get a cup of water between 100 and 101 degrees, the most common flu temperatures). I can see me with a 114 degree temperature. Call the undertaker, my goose has been cooked.

Cough, cough, hack, hack.

So I am laying low today. Which sucks in a way, because Mike and ~Deb are newlyweds, and I want to know how they are coming along.

Have a wonderful day! I will be in bed, watching old movies. Sleeping. Feeling guilty about not going to work today because I sound fine.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Evolution of Movies

Okay, if you are either from Kansas or you don't believe in Evolution, click on another site. This entry will infuriate you, and you will comment in such a way as to create illogical arguments or just piss me off. Frankly, life is too short to get pissed off all of the time. So you will be adding to the quality of my and your life if you leave now.

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine was talking about movies. He said something to the effect of "in general, movies are not as good as they used to be." Now, he is a show tunes guy to boot, so his opinion probably is swayed by this as well.

Now, I don't know when movies started out; let's say that for the past 50 years, the technology was good enough so that the movies "looked good." And I am using 50 years because I am going to do math – and I like simple. I know that Snow White was made in 1937, or somewhere near there, so the real date may be more like 70 years or so.

Okay, I have changed my mind. Let's say 70 years – but I want to talk about movies from 70 to 20 years ago. A fifty year period. So for those years in question, let's say you had 4 wonderful movies per year – not hard to do. You have one "must see" movie each quarter of the year. If this small amount of movies were tallied, we would have 200 must see movies for that timeframe. Well, there are only so many hours in a day – week, year – and most of us want to see more current movies anyway (they tend to have more exposed body parts). And speaking of more exposed body parts – have you ever noticed that the only time you have full frontal nudity for men is in art flicks (or porn). I love artsy movies, too. Oh, la la.

Where was I going wit full frontal nudity? Oh, I don't know.

The point I was trying to make before I started thinking of penises is that over time, the only (or most of) movies that seem to survive are really good or really interesting movies. It doesn't mean that the 1950s had better movies (think Elvis movies, please). It is just really bad movies are hopefully forgotten (unless they are really bad – e.g., Istar). It is not that individual movies are evolving (or having sex with each other), but that less than interesting/important movies simply are forgotten.

Yeah, I know what you are thinking – artsy movies. Why do they like showing penises. Well, because that's how they can say, "this is art because little kiddies can't see this." Well, if you are in Europe, they can see it on most beaches. But you get my drift.

And the next question you may have is "what are your favorite frontal nudity movies?" Well, they are usually in Italian or French with subtitles. The one that I remember that was not an artistic film was "Basic Instinct." But I don't know if the legs crossing scene was real. I mean Sharon Stone is a skank, but I think it is the director that makes the final decision. So this could be a fake frontal nudity shot, which is not real good anyway. I guess I can't name any films because the frontal nudity acts as a frontal lobotomy. In a pleasant sort of way.

Oh, and the Kansas thing deals with the Kansas State School Board touting evolution as a grown-up fairy tale. I think that those on the school board need to let their hair down and watch some artsy films.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Speed Dating - Finding a Spark

I was already married before speed dating started, and it is a shame – because it sounds like a hoot. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, the rules of speed dating are quite simple. A group of singles gathers at a cafĂ©, restaurant or similar public venue. Armed with a nametag, a scorecard and their sparkling personality, couples are paired up to begin their first speed date. They are allowed to discuss anything, except their careers, or where the live. The career part is obvious – to protect men from boring their speed dates. Where they live is also obvious – to protect the women from getting voodoo dolls in the mail.

Following several minutes of conversation (always the same number of minutes, but the numbers vary from place to place – I have heard of 5, 7, and 8 minutes), a bell is rung, and the men move on to meet their next date. I know, it sounds a bit contrived – and it reminds me of square dancing in school or musical chairs without the music, the chairs or – well, maybe it doesn't remind me of musical chairs.

Following each date, participants mark on a card whether they would have an interest in meeting their date again. If a mutual interest is noted, speed-dating organizers provide each party with the other's phone number. Now I can here detractors – men, mostly, thinking this is a way women have contrived for rejecting many men on a given evening. Somehow, I don't think this is the point.

The point – and I am guessing here – is that we sort of know when a spark is present. Why waste a whole evening eating a small amount of food (from the woman's point of view – you know, so the men don't think you are a piggie), taking about idle chatter, when there is no spark. I think there is something we sense that makes a connection much faster than thinking about why we like someone. Same thing goes with creeps. If someone makes your skin crawl, but you can't really put your finger on it, please step out of the elevator, or whatever, to make sure you are safe. What does Oprah say? "When you see crazy walking your way, cross the street." Same sort of thing.

And before you ask, yes, hubbie and I had that spark when we first met. But I politely ate a heck of a lot of small meals – "yes, I will have the salad/pasta" – and endured a lot of chatter to finally bump into Mr. Right. I mean, we can't all blog and find that special someone, a la ~deb and mike. It just does not work that way for us mere mortals. Side note: I have moved ~deb and mike's names near each other on my blog – ain't it so sweet?

Speaking of clicking – and I am not talking about mouse clicks but about knowing if two people would click – I think this spark thing also sometimes happens with e-mail. I get e-mail from a few people (not as many as ~deb, but let's face it, ~deb is mucho hot), and every once in a while, I think, "hottie." I can't put my finger on it (and not in the literal or figurative sense). I just think, "wow." Now I am a good girl, and I try my best not to flirt. Heck, from my last message, you know I can't even masturbate to the thoughts I have. Unless hubbie is out of town – and he doesn't leave all that often.

Perhaps this speed dating doesn't really work – that it is the latest fad. I think companies charge the men for doing this. Who knows, they may charge the women – but I doubt it. Charge the men twice as much and the company is happy. Of course, for lesbian speed dating (if there is such a thing), I guess they would have to have a different fee structure.

Oh, and if you get bored, you may want to read the latest installment of Just Walking. There is an interesting plot twist. The title is Illuminations.

Guess I will be getting back to my masturbation-less e-mail. And some of this mail is hot!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Masturbation and a Former President

The other day, I made a flippant remark concerning masturbation. I joke about masturbation frequently, and actually, I would masturbate when writing erotica. I almost typed, "I just couldn't help myself," but that was not true. I chose not to help myself.

When I started counseling, my counselor asked me to stop masturbating. It was a trick to bring me closer to my hubbie physically. If masturbation was out, all I could do was jump his bones to relieve all of the pent-up feelings. Sounds contrived – and having the conversation with my hubbie was difficult. You see, he had to give up masturbation as well. I did not say it out loud, but I thought the sacrifice was much more for me than for he. He achieved orgasm every time – whether he was inside of me or just self-stimulating. Me on the other hand, I had a 100% success rate of orgasm when my fingers did the walking, but hubbie was not 100% successful (nearly 100% when giving oral, giggles). Oh, how I love oral.

Anyway, for those who were wondering – it worked, and it is still working. Neither of us cheats, and we have sex a lot more than we used to. Part of it may be natural – I am in my mid-30s, and I feel so much more sexual now. When I was younger, I heard that sex improves with age, but I always thought that was one of those little white lies. It isn't. And I have heard that it could be that women in their mid 30's are less concerned about getting pregnant, or are more experienced, or whatever. I don't think the experts know. I mean, I am more confident, but I know several of my girlfriends who have as many insecurities as before. Perhaps more, in some ways. Whatever the reason, it really doesn't matter to me – all I care is that the sex is hot.

I don't think masturbation is immoral, or sinful (though I have read that certain Bible passages suggest this – the spilling of seed, for instance).

The Jimmy Carter passage (remember Jimmy, president of the US, talking about Patty McGuire, playboy playmate), as I call it follows. You may know it as Matt. 5:27-28:

You shall not commit adultery; but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart . . . .

Most of us, when masturbating are not thinking of our significant others. Well, sometimes it is our hubbies in pirate costumes (what is it with an eye patch that turns one to mush?), but usually it is some other hottie.

And I am not saying that masturbating is wrong, but it did drive me further from my hubbie. Really. Stupid counselor was right. Stupid counselor is usually right – though I am sure he has his demons.

So I don't masturbate – normally. When hubbie or I are out of town for 7 days or longer, then we lift the "no masturbation" ban. It is sort of like SALT II negotiations. Okay, I was really young when the whole SALT thing was going on. I just remember seeing newspapers while walking to the bus stop with "SALT" headlines. An all capital word in a headline can be intimidating. So I will always remember SALT II. But I vaguely know it involves missiles and the former Soviet Union. Sometimes I think the leaders of the US and the Soviet Union knew little more during the talks.

Negotiating about masturbation can be amusing. Not sure why I shared this. Perhaps I had nothing better to discuss today.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Shopping Carts and Anal Sex

I have OCD – and part of the benefits of having this wonderful mental illness (I call it a personality trait, not an illness) is that I wash my hands, doorknobs, the bathroom floor, etc., constantly. People at my work know that I have OCD. I don't advertise this, but from my actions, an observant person could guess. I like cleanliness – and that's part of the reason, I believe, that I have never been very excited about anal sex. The bottom was made as an exit, not an additional orifice in which to place a penis. Men see a whole and think "friction"; I just know they do.

Well, people send me articles that they think will entertain me. And, no, this is not going to be about anal sex. Sorry. But there will be fecal matter involved. Fecal material in supermarkets – really. I am going to post the full article italicized at the end of this post – just to show you that I am not making this up.

Drum roll please.

Researchers found that about half of shopping cart handles "weren’t frequently cleaned," and 21% tested positive for bodily fluids. Think about shopping in a supermarket for a moment – we get a cart, use the cart handles to push said cart, and sometimes sample food after touching cart handles that may contain bodily fluids.

Shopping cart handles are dirtier than public restrooms but not as dirty as playground equipment. Children are our future, but apparently we don't as a society want to pay to clean them to protect our children.

I mean, technically, it may be as sanitary in some instances to place fingers in a stranger's butt than to touch a shopping cart. Come to think of it, at least with the stranger, at least you know you are touching unclean parts. When we toodle around with a shopping cart, we don't really realize how dirty we are being.

You know, the more I learn, the more afraid I am of stuff. I think when folks say, "Ignorance is bliss," that is what they mean. At first, I thought it meant that it is nicer to go through life not thinking all too much – it is a lot less work just letting things go by. Now I believe that it is far nicer not to know things because of the overhead involved. I mean, health concerns aside, I imagine it is more comforting not to know how close the US gets in pissing contests with other countries. How many missile crises have we gone through and not known it?

Pardon me while I wipe down my desk. It's not that I think co-workers are having hot steamy sex on my desk after I leave. But you never know – I mean, fecal material gets on shopping carts in ways I really don't want to contemplate. So the next time someone wipes their hands after shaking hands, don't think they are merely strange. After all, they really don't know where your hands have been.

Truly a 'must-have' for shopper
Friday, February 03, 2006
Janet Cho
Plain Dealer Reporter
Gnaw on this the next time you're at the supermarket.


You know that shopping cart you don't think twice about grabbing with both hands? The one in which you toss all the fixings for dinner?

Well, chances are pretty good it's teeming with germs, bacteria and other things you don't want to know about.

Shopping carts are filthier than public washrooms, which at least get sanitized regularly, says Kelly Reynolds, an environmental microbiology professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Think about everything you load into your shopping cart: fresh veggies, raw poultry, your firstborn.

Now consider this: When Reynolds and other University of Arizona researchers tested nearly 1,100 public surfaces for germs, shopping cart handles turned out to be among the dirtiest -- right after children's play ground equipment and public bus rails and armrests.

Grocery cart handles tested positive for the proteins found in mucus, blood, urine, sweat and saliva, as well as for salmonella, E. coli and fecal matter.

The results indicated that roughly half of shopping cart handles weren't frequently cleaned, Reynolds said. Twenty-one percent tested positive for bodily fluids.

Even worse, "We witnessed children actually directly mouthing the handles."

For about three months, Heinen's Fine Foods, the family-owned grocery with 16 stores in Northeast Ohio, has offered shoppers disposable SaniCart Wipes to wipe down carts between uses.

"We don't wipe them down every day or anything like that, but we're pretty proud that our carts are pretty clean," said Jeff Heinen. "We steam-clean them twice a year."

Reynolds' response: "Twice a year is better than nothing, but when you think about it, it's only as clean as the last person who used it."

She said the fabric covers that some parents take to the grocery store to cover the seat before baby sits down often end up taking those very germs home. The covers must be properly laundered between uses.

Response to the SaniCart Wipes has been somewhat underwhelming.

"The vast majority don't use them," Heinen says, perhaps one in 20. The ones who do, however, rave about them.

Tops Markets LLC, which has 46 stores in Northeast Ohio, plans to install SaniCart Wipe dispensers in its stores within a month, said spokesman Denny Hopkins. Giant Eagle Inc. said it is also considering providing shopping cart wipes.

SaniCart Wipes, made by Nice-Pak Products Inc. of Orangeburg, N.Y., are one of several EPA-registered disinfectants designed to wipe out germs like staphylococcus, salmonella and the common flu virus.

Named "Best New Product" at the 2004 Food Marketing Institute trade show, the wipes are in about one-third of America's supermarkets and on the verge of launching in Canada, according to Jon Luposello, product manager for Nice-Pak.

"The people who are most appreciative of the product are customers with small children," he said. Moreover, "We're getting interest from other retailers."

Reynolds, who now not only washes her hands more frequently but also carries her own disinfecting wipes, said many store employees aren't taught how to kill germs.

"I was at the grocery store recently and there was a big pool of blood on the conveyor belt," she said. "And when I asked for something to wipe it up, she handed me some paper towels and window cleaner."

Although proud of the research she did, Reynolds said she paid a price for collecting all those samples. "I caught the nastiest illness I've ever had in my life," she said. "I was sick for about three months."

Now, that's taking one for the team.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Death Does Not Become Me

I have been thinking a lot about death lately. Not sure if that zapped my writing lately, but there it is. I have noticed on several blogs that this is a topic. Perhaps it is a topic all year 'round, and I am just seeing more than my fair share of viewings lately.

I am not a down person, but several blog entries have touched me. A woman writing about the death of her almost middle-aged brother, another woman talking about two brothers who died very young, a man talking about a father, another woman talking about her grandfather, another woman mentioning her grandmother. Most bloggers share little else, different virtual friends, different writing styles, different interests.

It is difficult to lose someone no matter what their age is - the young because of the songs still yet to be sung, the old because it is closing the doors on their contributions to your life. Even if they are not central to your life, it can sometimes touch you – not sure if it is because it brings up thoughts of one's own mortality or memories of others who have passed on.

I don't like death – I am not good at it. I mean, if someone has a family member who dies, I am one who signs the card, "happy birthday," not reading it. Or wanting to say, "I know how you feel," and practically biting my tongue because I know practically everything out of my mouth is not comforting, not compassionate.

But I am not alone. I have heard co-workers tell women who have lost children before they were born, "At least this was not a child," or "you could not have been too attached to the fetus." I have not said this, but it is the kind of thing I am scared of saying. Or if the death was on December 24, "At least he did not die on Christmas. That would have really ruined the holiday forever." I am scared of saying all of the above.

You know, in previous generations, death was more a part of life. You lived near your relatives, you saw them die instead of getting a call about funeral arrangement, and perhaps cared for them when they were dying. Perhaps you were there when they breathed their last breath. I don't know. Now, everything seems less personal, more medical. And death is strange to me.

Who knows, one day I may be able to better accept when people die. Not today, not at this point in my life. So if you have lost someone recently, or it is near the anniversary of their death, I wish you and your family peace.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Losing Me at a Party

This is a thought I had in December, but my thoughts came back to me today. Please, if you are a licensed therapist, please visit another blog. I don't want you analyzing me, and several people who blog need your help.

Around the holidays, hubbie and I attended three events in two days – all three were holiday parties (the new phrase to describe Christmas parties, as all definitely had a Christmas theme). Now, I am no jet-setter, and I don't really go to too many parties, but hubbie is a director of something, so he is obligated to attend. I am merely decoration.

As I was getting out of my dress after the third affair, something dawned on me. First, why the heck are some dresses hard to get out of, but that led me to think about "acting" at these parties. Not that I am phony, but I am wearing a dress that I wear maybe twice per year, I put way too much make up on, and I make it a point to be charming. And for most women, being charming involves listening.

Side note: I have been told that I am one of the most interesting people that several people have met. I sort of laugh, not because it is or is not true, but invariably, the people who make these comments are people who dominate conversations. And what do I do? I listen to these chatterboxes. I would hazard to guess that most of the people who compliment me in this way could not list two things that distinguish me from anyone else at the party. You know, most people appreciate a good pair of . . . ears. Yeah, I know, the men thought I was going to say something else, but once you look down the blouse, you want a woman who has hair to hold onto. No, I mean a woman who listens. At least at the party, that is what people appreciate.

Back to me slipping out of my dress. As I am remembering the party – mentally checking off ways I was charming and polite – it occurs to me that these people only see a very public view of me. And it is fairly one-dimensional. Now I am not talking about the curves that hubbie sees either. Well, not physically, at least. And not showing everyone your entire life is not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, I don't want to know that my boss is on hormone meds, or that my neighbor dresses up like Little Bo Peep to fulfill her boyfriend's twisted fantasies. People are so complex that I only have a few that I actually want to keep track of – hubbie, family members (not all of them) and close friends. That's all I have time for. Nothing more.

And then there are people who I want to know more about, but not everything. For whatever reason, there are several bloggers that I can keep track of what they show here. And I am not talking about Half Nekkid Thursdays, either. I am talking about what people think, how they have their eyebrows butchered, how members of their family are going through cancer, deployments, whatever.

But when I think of what I reveal at parties, most of this is trivial, polite, safe. And that's what people expect and appreciate. I am not going to tell them I hate wearing heels (women probably can assume it, and men don't care).

The symbolism, though, of taking one's hair down, having one's husband help one out of a party dress is so profound at those moments. For several hours, I was lost in pretending to be some one-dimensional ornament. Now I can be who I am, slip out of my hated heels, and be myself for someone who knows me better than anyone else. What a wonderfully comfortable feeling. A feeling felt in December and remembered in February – that's how strong and wonderful the feeling can be.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Jobs I want: #2 Substitute Grandmother

You know, I was thinking the other day – and yes, my writer's block is slowly going away; thanks for asking. Yeah, being a replay official would be a great job. But there can't be more than 16 or so of those jobs available at any one time. One thing I was wondering about that job, too, is if you call in sick on a Sunday, do you still get paid for the week? I mean, you worked the other days.

Okay, so I need a backup plan. I mean, I might not get to be a replay official. Second option – a substitute grandmother.

Who would need a substitute grandmother? My contention is lots of people would need such services. Let's face it, we are a mobile society. Oh, except for those in Canada. We move around a lot, and lots of people move away from their relatives – with the idea in the back of their minds, "you can pick your friends but not your relatives." We have all heard that phase at one time or another – and we also act as if you can choose your address but not your relatives.

Now I am not suggesting that your mothers and fathers are bad people. But let's face it, the requirements for being parents have nothing to do with compassion, being fun, being interesting or being likable – they have to do with gametes, one each please. [For those in the Bible belt, gametes are the birds and the bees.] Sorry for being so graphic; not lady-like, I know.

So if you don't like your parents or don't live close to them, perhaps you need a grandparent around some of the time. That's where I come in! For less than the price of a plane ticket, I will come to your house or you to mine, and I will entertain your kiddos. And, here is the best part – I won't give you advice on being better parents for two reasons: (1) I have no experience being a parent myself (think about it, when is the last time you have told a police officer how to do his job?), and (2) my commitment to you ends when your check clears the bank.

You will not hear any "why don't you call me anymore" or "I would not have tolerated that behavior from you" type of comment from me. I get to play with your kids and charge you for the pleasure.

And I could have certain packages available:

Crabby Grandma
Perhaps you want your kids to know how good they really have it. For a little more cash, I will complain about when I was a little girl, in 1920, tracking 5 miles to school. I know, I know, I don't have grey hair. I will buy a wig. I wonder if there is grey hair color available. Can you imagine going to the salon and saying, "I'd like to do a little something different with my hair. Can you dye it grey?" I'd have a camera ready to capture the stylists facial expression. That would be a great candid camera moment!

Present Grandma
If you want your children to have good memories of grandma giving them stuff, I will have hard candies in my house. Aged well, mind you. And I will give them nice shiny quarters. When they look disappointed, I will ask, "Doesn't a quarter buy a movie ticket, a bag of popcorn and a drink?"

Drunk Grandma
For special occasions – Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years and the like – you can buy my services in a "toasted" variety. Everyone has memories of drunk grandma. Now, it is not fun to see all of the time, but once in a while, it is a hoot. Years from now, you can recall when grandma was so drunk she came out of the bathroom with a long piece of toilet paper trailing her every move. Or how she kissed the dog because she thought it was a grandchild (that would be an extra charge).

You know, I can see myself franchising this idea. I would, however, be very selective in who would get a franchise in their geographic location. Oh, franchise fees. Now that is something to orgasm over.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

On Sexuality

When I was in college, I took some Psychology courses. And I do want to mention a few things about psychology. My impression of Psychology majors is this: most of them are drawn to the field because of demons in their lives. I know, blanket statement. But I met some really disturbed puppies in Psychology classes. And they talked about their problems – in Georgia. Whatever happened to repressed feelings? It is so much more polite, and as we know, appearances are everything in the south.  Hint: appearances are important could be a central theme of this post.

I learned a lot about sexuality in college. And not just from the boys I dated. Sex seems to be central to a lot of Psychology. I took an "Abnormal Psychology" class, and everything seemed to be based on sex. I know what you are thinking – you would love to get credit for classes about sex. But sex classes are not about body parts, semen and orgasms. Nothing useful. I used to say that it was sex and stats, not human sexuality. By the by, p-values are not what you would think they are. You don't say, "I have a 6 inch p-value" in these classes.

One thing I read was about a sexual scale. Now, I will be getting all of the terms incorrect, so bear with me – the ideas are the important part of this. Everyone has a scale, from totally attracted only to females to totally attracted only to males. And there are only about 10% of us who are on either end of the scale. Then there is the rest of us – where we might be 90% attracted to males, 10% attracted to females. You get the idea – just so that the total is 100%. And I don't want to know people who are 80% attracted to females, 10% attracted to males, and 10% attracted to farm animals. Those are the types I took these classes with. Really.

Anyway. I don't know what my percentage is – it is not like I have ever taken a test. As I recall, there are tests – where they flash up pictures and measure pupil diameter on the theory we contract our pupils on things we don't want to see and open them more on things we do want to see. You know, if they showed me a Toblerone bar right now, my pupils would be doing the wide open happy dance. You know I am hungry when I would rather see a Toblerone than a nice picture of a man's penis. Crap – do you think 5% of my sexuality is devoted to chocolate? I hope not.

Okay this is all of the theory part – you can wake up now.

So here I was in college, mostly attracted to men, but every once in a while, I would see a woman and something inside me stirred. I did not really put the theory together with those inside urges. Synapses just did not connect the two pieces of information.

Now I have written about lesbian encounters before, but I had a short, intense affair with a women when I was in college. We were really good friends, hung out, went out in large groups dancing and to parties. We knew each other well. And we liked each other a lot. Not a "please squeeze me" like, but an intense, you are so wonderful like. Well, we had a lesbian experience that lasted a week (8 days, but who is counting), and I probably would not have labeled it as such at the time, but we were in love.

I mean, I was really drawn to the physical relationship – something very new to me and to her as well, but it was, I think in part based on our innate attractiveness to one another. I have heard about pheromones, stars, and other things that attribute attractiveness, but I think all of those things were bunk. We wanted to be so close to one another – and we were. No saran wrap here. We just wanted to "become one." Okay, the cumming part was nice as well. Crap, I need to get back to reality.

Well, we broke off the relationship, mostly, because of appearances. We did not want to be seen as lesbians – we did not want to deal with all of the baggage. Remember, this was more than 10 years ago, and I am sorry, but there is "baggage" with being labeled as gay. I don't know what my parents would have thought – first thought would have been "no grandkids from her." And I am not sure we would have eventually ended up together. I dated a lot in college, and married no one I dated. Well, hubbie and I did date but post-college.

Now I also wanted children – still want them. Funny thing is that having children was probably the biggest reason for me. I can be so maternal sometimes. And now I have this adorable hubbie and we are striking out on the kiddie front. And it is not that our body parts don't fit nicely together. It is just that his little sperm and my eggs don't necessarily get along. And as the song suggests, "It takes two."

Back to sexuality. For me, the overriding factor is not a question of connectors and slots. Yes, I love hubbie's connector and he adores my slot. But that was not the thing that attracted me to him – he is kind, gentle, funny. We make a good pair. And perhaps I am an 80/20 girl, so that out of every ten people I am attracted to, eight are men.

Most of us pair up and marry when we are young, too young to really know what is important. Perhaps that is part of the reason I am with a man instead of a woman; I don't know. What I do know is that, if we look deep within ourselves, most of us can admit to the fact that we might be at least a teensy bit attracted to the same sex.

End note: Sorry this is so long, but one other thing should be mentioned. I am just talking about female-female attractiveness, partly because I have limited experience with this, but I think the same can be said about men. The thing is that in our society it is taught from an early age that male homosexuality is wrong/bad. How many would think little of watching a sexy lesbian porno, but their stomachs would turn at the thought of seeing guy-guy action. Personally, I think society teaches us that. But think of all of the men bending over to accept other men in prison. Limited women and homosexuality doesn't look quite as repulsive. An interesting observation.