Because Feminism

A conversation from today —

Sister: So Aaron says “ready Betty” instead of ready Freddy and I think you should adopt it too because feminism

Me: A girl could be named freddy because feminism

Sister: A boy could be named Betty because feminism

Me: Yeah

Sister: Are we arguing or agreeing, I’m confused

Me: I’m winning

Sister: Okay

…In other news, I am going to make a very solid effort at reading only books written by women this year, outside of required school reading.

Because when somebody says, “Name a great American author,” you say, “Hemmingway” or “Fitzgerald” or “Steinbeck” or about five other names before you say “O’Connor” or “Morrison” or “Oates” or “Cisneros” or “Plath” or “Cather” or “Angelou” or “Allison.”

Because we have voices.

Because feminism.

BSE might be BS

The other night, my brother sent me a SnapChat of my Facebook profile with my job title, Associate Software Engineer, circled and a comment about my not having a BSE.  It prompted this conversation:

Me: Fact of life: you can be an engineer without ever having taken a physics course.

Him: Physics is for physics majors

Him: And rules are for fools, but that’s not relevant

Me: I don’t even have a BS

Me: I have a BA

Me: I am a mathematical artist!

Me: Which is basically the definition of engineer.

Him: Engineers are problem solvers

Him: You are a liar

Me: That’s like all math is.  Problems.

Him: Idk if you are stuck up enough to call yourself an engineer

Me: Math is about solving impossible problems; engineering is about solving solvable problems.  So… suck it.

Me: #semicoloninatext

Me: #usedcorrectly

Him: Correctly but not necessarily.  Semicolons are used to connect an independent clause to a related dependent clause; like this.

Him: Or two related independent clauses.

Me: You know the correct rules, but neither negates my use case’s validity

Me: My awesomeness and I are going to bed.

Him: I’m telling your boss about this tomorrow

Him: And then I’m telling mom

 

 

25 by 25: Completion

Today is my 25th birthday. I would like to report that I completed by 25 by 25 list.  Here is a post giving evidence to that fact.

A few reminders about this: not everything happened in the last year.  This list is half a bucket list for my 24th year, half a bucket list for my first quarter-century of life.  Additionally, the list changed a little throughout the year, especially in the last six months as it became apparent that some things would be impossible.  I never replaced a task with something I had already done, so I think that’s legal.

1. Go streaking

This happened senior year of high school.  We were having a senior marching band girls sleepover.  We may or may not have wound up naked on the marching band field, performing our show (singing, no instruments).

The singular almost-proof picture

The singular almost-proof picture

 

2. Go skinny dipping

Eh, this one is almost a freebie.  This has happened a couple of times.  I’m convinced it’s inevitable when you spend large amounts of time next to and on a lake.

 

3. See Pacific ocean

When I wrote this list, I was in a job I didn’t like and I intended to stay in that job until the summer, quit, take a month long road trip that would involve a train to Seattle, a leg down the coast, and coming back up Route 66.  That was how I was going to see the Pacific ocean.  Instead, in October, I quit my job.  A week or two into unemployment, I had a new offer, so I took an impulse trip to visit my friend Gwen in Vancouver in my remaining unemployed time.  Vancouver happens to be on the West coast.

Not the ocean, but from the same trip

Not the ocean, but from the same trip

Recently, my dad informed me that I had already seen the Pacific ocean on a vacation we took when I was in 4th grade.

 

4. Take a road trip

In a desperate attempt to cram everything in prior to today given a lack of time off, I decided to make Labor Day weekend a Road Trip weekend.  My dad came with me, and it was awesome.  We went out to the Badlands and Rushmore and the Black Hills.

In the Badlands

In the Badlands

 

5. Get a cat

I guess I had two cats when I wrote this list, but one of them was very new to me.  And the other one is my heart cat.

Seriously, how can you resist?

Seriously, how can you resist?

 

6. Lose the v card

Check! (2010, for those who question whether it was a this-year goal.)

 

7. Learn to wakeboard

Wakeboarding is my absolute favorite thing to do in the world.  There is no way it could not be on this list.

Tearing it up

Tearing it up

 

8. Learn to drive

Yeah, I did that.  I just remember the whole process being painful.  Explicitly, I remember driving to the lake with the whole family in the car one night in the pouring rain and having a stubborn match with the parental whose side of the family is known for stubbornness.  First, I wanted to quit and the parental wanted me to keep going.  Then eventually with much yelling and crying and stuff, the parental wanted me to quit and I wanted to keep going.  I don’t really remember the details.  I just remember being relieved when I was switched out of the driver’s seat.  Plus, like, I learned to drive, so water under the bridge, you know?

Me and Ted, my car

Me and Ted, my car

 

9. Go to casino

I went to the casino in like late winter/early spring, and I came back with a return of 110%.  How?  I played a slot machine until I won, no matter how small, and quit.  It was great.  I won like a buck on the ten I put in.

Winnings voucher!

Winnings voucher!

 

10. Go to valley fair

Valley Fair is the Six Flags of Minnesota, since apparently it is not cool enough to have its own Six Flags like every other part of the country.  I went with my friend Emily this summer.  It was fine and stuff.  Average theme park.

Cats should be allowed at theme parks.

 

11. Go to concert

Prior to this year, I had never been to a non-classical concert.  My friend Jen and I went to see The Backstreet Boys.  Which always should have been my first concert.  Just maybe 12-14 years ago.

We were instructed to "Scream like you're 15 again!"

We were instructed to “Scream like you’re 15 again!”

 

12. Make french silk pie

My friend Brian and I made a french silk pie when I visited him in March(?).  It was disgusting.  I will never be using that recipe ever again.

All pie except that pie. That pie we made was gross.

 

13. Go berry picking, make jam

This was a thing I did right before my 24th birthday, so it practically counted, right?

Yummy yummy

Yummy yummy

 

14. Buzz head

Again, technically I did this just before my 24th birthday, but my 24th year involved actually living with that buzzed head and all the growing out phases following that.

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15. Go to (college) homecoming

My first year out of undergrad, I missed it so badly that it was too painful to go back to campus until the spring, and even then, the few times I did go down there, I mostly met up with friends in town rather than actually hang around campus.  So for my 25 by 25, I made it a goal to go to the formal Homecoming Weekend.  It was a lot of fun.  I enjoyed being on campus in a new, graduated adult role.

Um Ya Ya!

Um Ya Ya!

 

16. Go to Mount Rushmore

This happened on my road trip with my dad.  Admittedly, it determined the location goal of said road trip.  Anyway, Rushmore’s pretty cool.

Four heads?  I think it needs a fifth.

Four heads? I think it needs a fifth.

 

17. Get published

I have been published twice.

Once, in middle school, I submitted an article about a friend of mine for New Moon magazine’s (link: https://www.newmoon.com/magazine/) Beautiful Girls issue.  It was selected.  This has been a huge embarrassment both then and ever since because 1) they did not keep a single word of what I actually wrote and 2) I was soooo crushing on this friend and had no idea, but I knew then that it wasn’t normal, so it was weird then, and it’s weird now because it’s one of my cringe-worthy early gayball stories.

The second time I was published was in the Electronic Journal of Linear Algebra.  You can read (or try to, anyway) that article here:

MY MATHEMATICAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD

 So FYI, I am a published mathematician.  For now and forever.

 

18. Finish quilt

I finished my t-shirt quilt in junior(?) year of college.  It was a huge endeavor.  It took me many years.  I am very proud of it.  Somehow, despite the 42 squares on this quilt, I still have too many t-shirts.

No bed has these proportions

No bed has these proportions

 

19. Play ukelele

I bought a ukelele this year and learned to play it.  I love it.  I have tried to have skype jam sessions with two people now.  Those are less successful than the ukelele in general.

Ukelele involves singing. Cats are not invited.

 

20. Wildcard – anything you’ve never done before

I have no idea what I intended for this.  Here are some things I did for the first time this year: go to a Dakota, take ownership for a database, join Instagram, tweet, run a 5K without walking, buy a bridesmaid’s dress, use a 3D printer, hire a house-sitter, and break a bone.

Radial neck fracture.  And a busted up face.

Radial neck fracture. And a busted up face.

 

21. Visit Megan

I visited Megan on a whim in April and then again this summer after her surgery.  Both times we got Brahm’s.  I have concluded that the presence of Brahm’s is Texas’s greatest redeeming factor.

Brahm's, bitches

Brahm’s, bitches

 

22. Go to Europe

Did this prior to this year.  I went to London in high school with band, and then studied abroad in Budapest in college.  I also visited Prague and Amsterdam on the study abroad trip.

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23. Do a shot

I had never done a shot prior to this year.  DO NOT MOCK ME.  There is nothing wrong with not being stupid.  Anyway, I had some purple thing the same night I went to the casino with Jen.  It was fine.  Nobody died.  I see no reason to avoid or repeat the experience.

This is what I drank.

This is what I drank.

 

24. Make a real live used webpage

I think this was a late addition, because that job I started in November was doing web development.  And I wanted to be useful enough on the team that I was actually developing web stuff.  My first application got released sometime this spring.  Unfortunately, it is behind a login that y’all don’t have access to, so I can’t show it off.

Workin’ hard. Look at that 25-year-old maturity.

 

25. Ride a motorcycle

My friend Jen (boy, she was quite the accomplice for this list) said she would take me on her motorcycle.  It was terrifying.  And exciting.  Mostly terrifying.  I think I prefer jet skis — same effect, lower risks.

Riding into year 25!

Riding into year 25!

#Acceptance

The other day I went shopping for Mother’s Day cards (yes, y’all, that’s right around the corner, so you need to get on that sh*t).  I got what I needed, and I also found this:

Oh hey, Just hanging out in the Wife section

Oh hey, Just hanging out in the Wife section

And this:

Two Great Moms

Front

Back

The times — they are a-changin’.  If Hallmark is getting on the bus, the bus is getting pretty full.  And okay, yeah, there was only one partner card and one two moms card, but there was also only one card For Mom from Preteen Daughter.

I would also like to point out that the two moms card was actually For Two Great Moms.  The card I got for my mom was just For Mom.  No great (even though she is).  But this two mom thing: this isn’t Heather Has Two Mommies; this is Heather Has Two Great Mommies.  Damn right, she does!

On a somewhat related note, I am now fully embracing all “Hallmark Holidays.”

 

Cats on Sats 3/29

Last night I had a long saga of a dream in which my mom died.  It was traumatic — you know how dream emotion might as well be real emotion?  This was one upsetting dream.  But after I woke up, it was also hilarious.  You see, my first (and second and third) major emotional upheavals in this dream were all about my mom having died and the grief surrounding that.

But eventually the dream morphed, as dreams do, and the major concern was that my dad was now responsible for feeding my two cats and my sister’s cat, Wrigley.  They were all supposed to get different food at different times and not eat each others and basically, it was a very complicated feeding regime, as such things often are when there are multiple animals involved.

Also, we lived in this weird warehouse-type structure that mostly consisted of fire-escape-like stairs, platforms, and metal grating.  That is beside the point.

The point is that the major upheaval in this last part of the dream was that MY DAD WAS NOT FEEDING THE CATS CORRECTLY.

You know what he was feeding them?  Refried beans and potato chips.

Worse, he was letting them eat each other’s.

 

The idiocy of Dream Dad displeases us.

The idiocy of Dream Dad displeases us.

Where I’ve Been

Besides becoming increasingly unreliable in the blog-o-sphere (and, accordingly, maybe providing myself inadequate as a librarian — librarians love blogging, far more than normal people), I have been:

 

river

 

  • Losing mercilessly to my parents on FitBit
  • Preparing for these guys to come talk at my school in October
  • Getting my two cats better acquainted by pulling them both into a giant cat hug on a regular basis
  • Fighting the fly infestation in my apartment
  • Turning 24
  • Coping with the fact that 24 is like a way more mature feeling number than 23
  • Sleeping like there’s no morning, rather than living like there’s no tomorrow
  • Watching Orange is the New Black
  • Feeling approximately 12 again from the extent to which The Bone Season is pulling me in
  • Checking off every 15 minutes at work to make it through the day
  • Learning the difference between dependent and independent variables for at least the 6th time in my education
  • Forgetting to call everybody back
  • Going outside
  • Riding my bike after dark while being decked out in lights and reflectors to the point that I am the brightest thing on the road

…and starting squabbles between my parents by texting them pictures of baby bunnies:

 

Me: (with picture of baby bunny) Look what I found

Dad: Kill it!  Kill it with fire!

Mom: Robert! That is exactly the kind of comment that makese me not want to spend the weekend with you