Friday, June 18, 2010

Aunty Christ can't wait to sue you, BP

For some reason, I guess I always thought that most of the people I knew were okay with the fact that I hadn’t gone to law school. It’s bizarre to me that I’ve failed to be properly embarrassed for my lack of education all this time, knowing now how ridiculous I must appear to others.

Having just returned from a trip to my parents’ house, I am now sadly aware how much I’ve disappointed everyone all these years, not having gone to law school until now, and I’m sorry. What was I thinking?

Anyway, law school starts very soon. I feel like I need to say something about that in this blog, and perhaps even start writing consistently again—at least before I become too busy to write consistently again. So now I have. You’re welcome.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Aunty Christ thanks you very much, crazy chicken. And you too, tiny donkey.

The thing about learning a new language is that all of a sudden one is filled with gratitude that one is able to communicate in any language at all. How magical! How miraculous, these things that I’m able to say!

These things that I’m unable to say, on the other hand, I’m not so crazy about. As I told my maestra de español the other day, “I was not having looked at the hour, then I was being late. I feel it.”

One thing about the Spanish there is that they want you to distinguish between what is forever, and what is only for a time. Which we do too, I guess. I am drunk versus I am a drunk. Though the difference is that one who speaks English fluently can do that kind of thing without thinking too much about it, and one who speaks Spanish haltingly is forced to consider the truths of one’s existence anew with every sentence. ¿Estoy cansada o soy cansada? ¿Soy triste o estoy triste?

So I mean it, from the bottom of mi córazon negro y frío, when I say that I am grateful to be able to write this small post to you people, without worrying about whether you people are my familiars, or children, or a group consisting of my betters, and being more hopeful than not that I am saying what I mean to say and not something about that time when there was a robot-pig on the crunchy trousers.

Anyway, this is why I haven’t been writing lately. No soy escritora. Estoy estudiando.

And I am stressed the fuck out, pardon my French. I really hope it’s not a forever state of being, but I don’t know yet.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Aunty Christ's Top Many Things of the Future List. Finally.

I was going to write a list of things I wanted to see while I was in Chicago but didn’t have time to, but I realized that it was self-indulgent and inane. I wanted to go to a bar called Jimmy’s and a restaurant called … Hey, guys, where are you going? Don’t you realize how vitally important this shit is?

The purpose of that list, however, was really just to set up my second list, which is:

Things I didn’t want to see while I was in Chicago, but was forced to:

  1. My dad in his underpants.

Now, this is nothing new. For as long as I can remember, Dad has always felt it meet and good to walk around his house of females wearing nothing but his tighty-whities, and that’s fine. Or: Whatever. He has made far worse intrusions on my psyche this trip alone. Really, at this point I suppose I’ve made a bigger thing out of it than it deserves—my point being only: What woman does not want to see her elderly father in his underwear? It’s Chrismassy!

Anyway, while I was back in Chicago, I was reminded how long it’s been since I’ve been outside of the country. The reminder came in two parts, as follows.

Scene One:

At the food bank where my dad volunteers and I help out whenever I’m in town, I had a brief conversation with a Japanese student had come to box cans with his host mother. Now, I’ve been to Japan twice. I ain’t a complete idiot when it comes to Japan—I think, anyway.

“Are you staying with your parents over the holidays?” he asks.

“No, I’m going home to Saskatoon on Christmas Eve. My boyfriend is having a party with some friends, so I want to be there,” I say. “Are you staying in the U.S. for the school year?”


“Will your parents miss you over Christmas?”

As soon as I asked the question, I realized how stupid I sounded. Ah—another American who thinks The World Out There is exactly like America! Except with funny accents!

There was a time in my life, believe it or not, when I thought I would travel all the time. And then the Bush presidency happened. Not to blame my current homebodiness on Bush entirely. Sure, I’m embarrassed to travel abroad as a Bush’s America American, but I’m also poor, and I hate airports, and I miss the thug dogs terribly when I’m gone, and when I’m working I never get enough time off, and when I’m not working—well, I think I mentioned that I’m poor. All of which adds up to not having left the country in about ten years.

And now, apparently, having thusly settled my dumb roots firmly in my nation’s soil, I believe that Japanese families gather under their bonsai trees and wait for Santy Claus every December 25 because I’m culturally stupid.

(But what do they do for Thanksgiving???)

Speaking of culturally stupid, Scene Two:

While in Chicago, I saw a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen since our days living in Remote Mountain Village together. The first thing out of my mouth when I saw him:

“Your hair’s so long! Oh man—do people want to touch it all the time?”

I guess about now I should mention that this friend is black, and he wears his hair in dreads, which reach about halfway down his back. It was, actually, a little bit of a surprise to me to see how long his hair had gotten; but really? Really, Aunty? Do people want to touch your black hair all the time? Weren’t we just talking about this? And when we were talking about this, didn’t I keep thinking, “Huh. Well I certainly don’t think about touching black people’s hair”?

So yeah. Different topic—a distinctly American topic, in fact—but same conclusion: I need to get out. Out of my house, out of my country, out of my damn head, you know?

I wish I could explain, at least partially, why it makes any sort of sense that was the first thing that popped out of my mouth when I saw my friend. And, you know, that it made me feel better about it. Like less of an asshole. But what would I say? His hair looked … cool?

Oh, so I’m a moron. I talk without thinking. I need to think more—and talk more, probably.

I need to leave. I need to learn.

I need to be humble, and open, and hungry.

This is the little holiday gift I gave myself this year: A promise. Sometime in the coming year, Rich and I are going abroad, goddamn it. Put that in yer pipe and smoke it.

Without further ado here is my list of the Top Several Things About 2010:

(1) What we were just talking about.

(2) Law school! Maybe. Maybe not. I cannot make up my mind. But the good news is, despite studying not one whit, I got a much better score on my second LSAT, making some much better law schools a possibility and salvaging my battered ego.

(3) Thug dogs! Every year holds thug dogs and thug dog activities, of course, but this year has its own billboard. Or simulated billboard, I mean. Gosh, I’m proud.

Simulated on a computer screen! From a program that won't let you save images to your computer! And that I couldn't figure out how to grab a screen shot from because I'm technologically inept! So it ends up looking much lamer than you might expect things to look in this advanced age of 2010! Enjoy!

(4) Glink Zutonate! Every year Rich and I, having procreated no children together (clink glasses), name the year as if it were a baby. Last year was Specialty Foxx, based on a mishearing of some sort, if I remember correctly, and 2008 (or perhaps 2007?) was Brock Hambley. Not like either of those years worked out so well for me, actually—my children (very much like any babies I would actually bring into this world) were monsters, and I hate them.

This year, though. This year strikes me as my year already. As our year. Mine and Rich’s and yours too, by god. Just think: Last January I was scared out of my wits that I was going to lose my job any day, and had been for months. This year, I’m unemployed, and I’m (relatively) happy. Rather be dead than malingering.

Stillborn, stinking Glink Zutonate, we’ll breathe some life into you yet.

Monday, December 7, 2009

When two dillweeds love each other very much

Generally speaking, Aunty Christ is not a very Christmassy person. It is shocking! It shocks, that admission. Over the last couple days, though, the spirit of the holidays has called my name, and touched my heart. And it has touched it hard, and in somewhat inappropriate places.

Or, you know, not the spirit of the holidays so much, but the Lifetime cable television channel, and its awful, treacly made-for-TV holiday movies. Who fucking watches these?

Actually, I have a story about that. Not a very long story, mind you, or a very interesting one, but the last time I visited the familial manse for Christmas, about six years ago, I walked in on my mom as she was watching a holiday romance on the Hallmark channel. And it depressed me so much. I don’t even know if I can explain why, exactly, except that holiday romances aired on the Hallmark channel are in themselves depressingly poorly done, and that my mom is kind of a pathetic and lonely figure in my mind, and together, the image of this sad and lonely woman watching a badly produced, badly written family Xmas abortion on the Sad and Lonely Christian Woman Channel made my heart hurt.

Ever since that seminal moment, however, I’ve been fascinated by the awful made-for-TV holiday movie. And again, I can’t explain why, exactly. Something about my general fascination with awful things, I suppose, although I’m not saying that mommy issues aren’t buried very deep in there somewhere. In the last two days, I’ve watched the one about the lady who asked Santa for a boyfriend, the one about the lady who spent Christmas with the policeman who had her under witness protection because she was about to be the star witness against her boyfriend’s family in a tax evasion case, the one about the two newspaper columnists who hated each other until they realized that they loved each other, the one about the small-town lady who wants to move to the big city but learns that life and love is something that’s only available to her in her hometown, the one about the big-city lady who moves to the middle of nowhere and realizes that the middle of nowhere is where all the hot dudes live, the one about the lady who turns 40 and gets her groove back with a hot young dude on an island (NB: Not to be confused with that other movie, which, despite its middle-aged-woman-affirming message, is relegated to BET because of its lack of relevance to white middle-aged women), and the one about the lady with the dead husband who, despite being dead, has some very specific feelings about his widow’s potential boyfriends. In between were commercials for some monstrosity called It’s Complicated, and now, at the end of the weekend, I find that I am having problems weaning myself off this crap. I briefly turned to The Green Mile a few minutes ago and was shocked when Tom Hanks didn’t get in a tiff with Michael Clarke Duncan after finding out that he was shutting down the town’s Christmas tree farm, only to have some completely unforeseen twist at the end bring them together again—for Christmas.

I think I’ve learned a lot over the last 17 hours of nonstop awful holiday show viewing, and I’d like to bring to you now what I call A Boyfriend Date for a Family Christmas in the Country.

The film opens. A wide-eyed young woman is trying on outfits and posing in the mirror while fun and perky music plays.

Music (singing): Here is the song that tells the audience how to feel about the story they are going to see about the girl who went on a boyfriend date for Christmas…

Camera closes in on girl’s face, showing her to be an actress last seen in a sitcom in the mid-1980s.

Juniper: I can’t wait to move to the big city, after Christmas! I’m so sick of family Christmases in the country, and I have such big plans! I shall muse upon these plans for a moment, so it becomes clear that I’m not only cute but also smart, and a bit of a dreamer.

Mom: Juniper! What about the town’s annual holiday fruitcake festival? Your grandfather didn’t perfect his fruitcake recipe just so you could abandon the town you grew up in and move off to the city like any normal person in the late 20th or early 21st centuries would.

Juniper: Now I have to say something that makes everyone realize that, as adorable and likeable as I am, I have some growth to do. But not so much that it’ll seem completely unrealistic that I do it in an hour and a half.

Blossom, the fat friend: Not like this entire movie isn’t unrealistic! Hey, I know you’re busy with your plans to leave town, but have you thought about just cutting loose and finding a new man to date? I mean, after your engagement to the baker ended so badly?

Juniper and Mom, together: No! Not the baker!

John Baker: I still miss you, Juniper, my dear. In a very shallow and conceited way, I mean. Actually, I miss the promise of your family’s winning fruitcake recipe, but I also miss your bum.

Juniper: I am only a little turned on and very, very mad!

Mom: I am a supportive mother, and so I am also mad!

Blossom, the fat friend: I wish someone liked my bum!

Don Goode: Hello there. It’s almost time for the first commercial break. Here I am, the unlikely love interest!

Juniper: I hate you!

Mom: Oh, but he’s so cute!

Juniper: My body says I love you, but I do declare that you’re the most frustrating man I’ve ever met, Don Goode!

Don Goode: Well, I’m just passing through, looking for the true spirit of Christmas. Say, have you noticed my rugged cheekbones?

Blossom, the fat friend: I did!

Juniper: Well, I’m still moving to the big city. I don’t care what you say, Don Goode!

Fruitcake judge: I sure wish I had some real personality or backstory or something, but I’m here to tell you that because of a series of unlikely events, Juniper and Don Goode will have to pair up as partners for this year’s annual fruitcake bake off!

John Baker: Well, I’ll just pair up with this skinny blonde lady then.

Townspeople: No one really cares what you do, John Baker, because even though you’re an award-winning baker, everyone knows that Juniper’s family recipe always wins this town’s fruitcake contest.

John Baker: Not this year.

Hot blonde lady: I’m so dumb! Did you notice my boobs?

Townspeople: Hey, this is a family show!

Cooking montage showing Juniper and Don Goode throwing flour on each other and laughing, Juniper showing Don Goode the proper way to shell nuts, and Juniper coyly hiding her grandfather’s recipe from him.

Don Goode: Would you like to go to the amusingly named local bar with me tonight?

Juniper: Like, on a date? Because I don’t know if you’ve picked up on this yet, but I’m leaving town to go to the big city soon.

Don Goode: Oh, well, I just wanted to ask you out so that I could admit something really shocking to you, like that I only came to town and paired up with you so I could steal your grandfather’s fruitcake recipe for the big frozen-dessert company I work for in the big city.

Juniper: Gasp!

Blossom, the fat friend: Hey, what does your mom think?

Mom: I think that I should dispense some homey words of wisdom. And maybe some ice cream.

Juniper: I’m obviously 35 years old. Why do I still live at home?

Mom: You don’t live at home so much as you live in someone’s awful idea of the way things should be.

John Baker: I’ve heard that Don Goode is out of the picture, so I would like to propose to you in a few scenes, if that’s all right.

Juniper: Oh, I’m kind of confused!

Blossom, the fat friend: I wish someone would propose to me.

Juniper: I’m a modern woman, with plans and everything! I can’t drop all that and stay in this bum town, with someone who doesn’t even really love me with all his heart.

John Baker: But Juniper, I do love you!

Juniper: With all your heart?

John Baker: (?????)

Juniper: That’s what I thought. No. I’m a modern woman. I reject your proposal, John Baker.

Montage of Juniper doing modern-woman things, like shaving her legs and buying a balloon for a little kid.

Mom: Now that it’s almost time for the fruitcake-baking contest, how do you feel about moving to the big city and away from Christmas?

Juniper: Conflicted. I’ll miss you, Mom. You’re the best.

Mon and Juniper hug.

Mom: I got you lots of presents. Here! Have all these presents!

Montage of Juniper baking a fruitcake by herself and John Baker and the hot blonde lady baking a fruitcake together. The hot blonde lady is grossed out by the fruitcake mixture, and spends most of her time filing her nails.

Fruitcake judge: And the winner is …

Juniper: Me?

Townspeople: Was there ever any doubt?

Don Goode: Do you have time for one more gift? I got you this kind of weird excuse about how I was never going to steal your fruitcake recipe after all, and I’m going to demonstrate that to you by playing a holiday tune on this here guitar.

Juniper: It’s what I always wanted!

Townspeople: Kiss him!

Juniper and Don Goode share three chaste, emotionless kisses.

Mom: And that is the spirit of Christmas. Where else could you find that?

Blossom, the fat friend: I wish I could kiss a man and find the spirit of Christmas.

Juniper: I think I’ve learned something today, and what I learned is that I will never leave the town that I was born in.

Don Goode: Also, I wanted to give you this engagement ring. I hope it’s not too creepy. I want to stay with you forever right here in this town.

Juniper: That’s not creepy. It’s Christmas!

Townspeople: Ha ha ha ha ha! Now we’re going to sing a song!

Thank you for watching A Boyfriend Date for a Family Christmas in the Country. Is it just me, or do these holiday shows make anyone else a little misty? Someone get Lifetime on the phone. That was the best one yet!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Aunty Christ lives in her own little turkey world

The only people who would find this amusing are the same people who pretend to throw balls to their dogs, only to misdirect the dog’s attention and hide the ball in their pocket, and then laugh and laugh and feel utterly superior to the poor creature.

Which is to say that I find it extremely amusing. It, in this case, being Yahoo! Answers, Gender and Women’s Studies, or Y!A GWS. This is what’s been taking up all my time lately, frankly. It’s an odd day indeed when Rich and I aren’t on the couch all morning nursing our own private obsessions—him with his electronic AV Club pals, and me with my imaginary Y!A morons. I’ve even started addressing actual people and events in the breathless, blindered tone of a Y!A querier:

“Why do men always wanna see movies like The Man in the White Suit, and women wanna watch The Godfather II?”

“Why do men always cook squash soup when women wanna go out for breakfast?”

Or, with all respect to The Simpsons, “Why are men named Rich Bachelor, and women are named Aunty Christ?”

It’s actually a really wonderful way to view the world. Let’s take a look, shall we? A question:

Why do most women act like the terms "sexist" and "true" are mutually exclusive?

I have repeatedly seen on here and heard otherwise the objection that a comment is sexist against women, as that is somehow supposed to nullify what was said before it. Why do most women feel that just b/c something is said that truthfully paints the majority of them in a negative light or otherwise makes them feel bad, that it is untrue?

Congratulations! You’ve just proved yourself to be unworthy of further discussion. Next!

If women are so afraid of men as they claim, why do they so voluntarily act in such antagonistic ways?

towards them? THis cold range from picking arguments to actually initiating violent physical contact (such as slapping).

You often hear women on here chiding guys for acting in anyway that could even remotely be construed as creepy (such as approaching a woman to initiate conversation) and there are constant posts about how men should and must respect a woman's comfort level.

Ok, fine. Women are in constant fear of men overpowering, raping or otherwise hurting them. We get that......but then, why do women antagonize these "potential rapists" so often, without provocation? An example I saw just last night at a bar was a woman striking a guy in the back of the head who walked away from an argument with her.

I mean if you are afraid of a pit bull, you don't go slapping him on the snout to p*ss him off right? Why do women not apply this same common sense with men?

(****And please: no arguments on the morality of hitting anyone...let's just look at this practically)

Okay, fine—let’s look at this practically. So either women must admit to you that they are in no harm at all from any man ever, or they must cower at home with their doors barred against the big, mean men who might hurt them? Or maybe a woman can be around men, but must at all time have a smile on her face and not react in any way that might provoke a man into raping or otherwise abusing her?

You make a good point, sir. My gender thanks you.

IS single-motherhood is a cancer in our society?

Do you agree?

Single motherhood trains girls from a much younger age than boys to be multi functional through the role models of women. Girls see their mothers going to work, college and rearing children. The boy is more lost as he does not understand his role. I know his role is exactly the same but you need a father to "Show" him this.

Women bemoan men and boys acting like sissys but we forget who is raising boys and young men and it's women. LOL

Now the reason for single motherhood is an immaturity problem like the man running off or the mother blocking access. Then the girls grow up and are promiscuous only keeping the cycle going because the boy is too young to be ready to be a father and he doesn't know what to be as a role.

Something like that.

Additional Details

Yes I titled it like that to drag you in! LOL

U fail. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!11!!

Why are women (in general) worse at basically everything when compared to their male colleagues ?

etc etc etc

Here is an answer to this provocative, well-considered question, from a “Top Contributor” no less:

Because of hormones distracting us. (pms) It makes us not think with the same logic as man. It causes psychological troubles.
Because we loose blood once a month and it is very tiring
Biological clock and we have to take maternal breaks
We still do most of the children raising at home.
Sports? Because we have smaller muscle and we have hips that makes us run awkwardly.

I am anti-feminist because equality between the sexes is impossible and against nature but you should still respect woman.

Ow, my awkward hips! And another excellent point:

This is an unfair fail to list the thing women are better at then men:

- taking advantage,abusing, and showing no appreciation for men's natural desire to please women
- the tenacity to act so selfish and whine for what they want without being embarrassed
- avoiding blame or accountability while showing zero remorse or conscience
- convincing people they are more caring, nurturing, and sweet hearted when their behaviors - looked at objectively- tell quite a different story

I’m sorry, sir. Why are you even talking about not-me right now? Do you not care that I would like my feet rubbed?

Another person asks:

Is this place just full of male whiners, or is it that women's issues have been mostly solved...(more)?

leaving men with the problems that need to be addressed?

Clearly: both.

And then (by the same guy):

Men: Have you ever considered that women view men as chumps who exist to support women and buy them things?

Have you ever looked at women as being people who frolic through life, giggling all the way because they view men as fools whose only reasons to exist are to provide sperm and dollars?

Thank you! Finally, someone with the balls to say what we’ve all been thinking! Am I right, guys?

Do you think psychological abuse should be made a crime to even out the playing field?

It seems that women have the upper hand when it comes to nagging and being control freaks.. thats basically them using their strengths.. the problem is when men use their strengths on women theyre protected from physical abuse by the justice system.

Psychological abuse does not always heal with time... some are scarred for life mentally and it affects their lives.

Exactly! That’s what I’ve been saying all along! Women are scarring men for life mentally by, um, nagging them! It’s exactly the same as rape, beatings, and murder, which as anyone knows, only men are ever punished for!

Why do feminists like to think they are the ones who can really understand what oppression means?

Did they finally make a claim on that word that they had it copyrighted and made sure that the word oppression only applies to women and feminists?

Yes. We’ve made a claim on it and had it copyrighted because we totally forgot about the blacks and Muslims and transgendered people. Whoops! Our bad. We promise to stop nagging those guys, though. If we can remember to not do that, what with all our giggling and frolicking and whatnot.

As a woman, do you feel insulted that feminists are portraying you as a victim because you're a woman?

Making sure everything is blamed on others except women portray women as weak; incapable of making rational thinking; and incapable of making good decisions. We are not victims all the time, feminists! Sometimes we make bad decisions! When will you preach the concept of responsibility instead of blame?

Again: Thank god someone finally said it! Feminism is all about making women seem weak and incapable of rational thinking, right? Whereas dudes apparently, if Y!A GWS is any indication, have the utmost respect for us!

Arent the declining marriage rates womens fault ? Why should a man marry, if marriage means to?

share his wealth 50 50 when he can not find a woman that makes the same ammount of money as he does and also takes care of the home and kids, because feminism and the modern divorce laws are not his fault ?

Yes! Men should not be forced to marry women, who don’t earn as much and are expected to take care of the house and the kids and such. Men should be allowed, finally, to marry men!

Thank you, sir, for your support of gay marriage. We appreciate it.

So, as you see, it’s all enough to drive a person completely insane. After several hours of looking at this, one expects to go outside of the house and see a world turned upside-down, everyone sitting in a toilet-armchair, watching Ow My Balls! and making preverbal utterances.

Given what I’ve seen in GWS, I expected other sections of Y!A to engage in same kind of illogical commentary. Say, in Economics, a question posing “I had a $20 in my pocket and now it’s gone?” or “Do you agree that we just feasted for five dollars?” But no. There, people are asking questions about the economic effects of a significant fall in the value of the pound against the euro and the effect that increased reserve requirements might have on the GDP.

Leaving me to wonder if it’s about talking about gender that makes people stupid, or if the subject merely attracts 12-year-old boys and morons. Discuss.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Someday men will walk on Mars, but Aunty Christ will still be a monkey

Hey, I don’t know if you’ve heard this yet, but I guess the job market is really unrealistically competitive right now. Here’s one for the God You Suck Files.

As I may or may not have already pointed out, I’ve been applying for jobs for about a year now, at a rate of maybe one or two resumes a week. Sometimes the jobs I apply to are a little too big for me and my skills; sometimes they’re a bit too small, both in wages and responsibilities. Every once in a while, I happen upon something that’s just right—something I actually want to do, and can do, and have done.

But I haven’t gotten any of them, and at this point, hundreds of rejections later, I feel like I am not so much a person as a flaw. If I talk about this, I’m subjected to my friends’ advice on the various way in which my flaw manifests itself. I am applying for the wrong jobs. I cannot communicate with the people who interview me, or am communicating in a wrong way. I do not look professional, perhaps. Have I considered that my resume is bad? Or perhaps it is rather that my experience is not valuable. Or I don’t sell myself well because I don’t have faith in myself. I probably think too highly of myself. Whatever it is, surely I can see that I am generally not a very good person. And above all, I must believe in myself.

Last week I got an interview with an office I would have loved to work for. It’s a small non-profit that gives free legal advice to crime victims, run by a woman who used to work for the D.A.’s office. In terms of fit, it landed somewhere between Just Right and Too Big—I don’t have experience in some specific areas the job would have covered, but I do have advocate experience, and that would have been a small part of the job, and the rest of it was just general office work, which I’ve done and like well enough. And I thought the interview went well. Or in any case I liked the lady who ran the office, and I was able to answer most of her questions adequately—yes, I’ve done that before; no, we don’t use that application, but I am familiar with this similar platform. That kind of thing.

Upon returning home, I found that she had sent me an email ten minutes after I had left her office. It said:

Ms. Chrit (sic),

Thank you for applying with the Dream Job Firm, and I'm glad I got the opportunity to interview you. We are going to fill the position w/ another applicant. Good luck w/ your job search, and please don't be discouraged: out of approximately 150 applications we received, yours clearly stood out!

Like I said, rejection and I go way back. I understand that I’m not going to get every job. I even understood that I was probably not going to get this job. And yet.

Ms. Employer,

I apologize for contacting you again, especially since you must be very busy with your interviews on top of your ordinary responsibilities. However, I must say that I am very disappointed and wonder if I might encourage you to share with me what your reasons are for not feeling that you would want to work with me; I intuit that you must have had a fairly strong negative reaction, based on the fact that you've cut me from the running before completing the interview process.

Normally I wouldn't bother you with this question. I honestly just wanted very badly to work for you, and felt like I had the background and skills to do a good job for you. I guess I'm a little surprised.

Good luck to you. I enjoyed meeting you.

I was thinking that I would get silence in response. A big nothing. A secret, or a mystery. Instead, the next morning, I received a phone call, from Ms. Employer, saying Oh my god, I did not mean to send that to you.

Looking good, right? No. She continues. She says, I was getting emails ready to go out at the end of the week, but I slipped up and sent yours early. We’ve found the perfect person who can fill the job and—really, she could do my job! I should probably just cancel all the interviews I’ve scheduled. But thank you for coming in. It was great meeting you.

Which, despite giving me something of an answer, which was what I professed to be looking for, made me feel better not at all. And then, a few days later, an email.

Aunty, now is when I'm REALLY contacting the applicants we interviewed. Again, I'm so sorry I screwed yours up. The job market is just really unrealistically competitive now; it's very, very tight. Your application looked great - we only interviewed about 20 of some 150 applicants, and you were one of them - and your interview went really well, also. It's just a hard time to be looking for a job, and someone happened to apply whose bio matched the job description perfectly. I AM glad I got to meet you and talk w/ you!

So I sent (just to be nice):


Thank you for contacting me. I really appreciate it. Take care.

Immediately I receive:

I still feel so badly. I'm really sorry.

At this point—argh. Just drop it, lady. I’m really, really, really sorry I asked.

At least it’s not as bad as one interview I had this summer. Rich and I drove to a tiny town about 45 minutes away from our house, to an office where I spent about three minutes telling the attorney that I didn’t mind the drive, it wasn’t really that far to go for a job that I really wanted, that I’m from Chicago, fergadsakes, where I always had at least a two-hour daily commute, and two minutes listening to him say that he liked my resume but didn’t think that I’d want to drive so far, really, and then the interview was over and I never heard from them again.

Now that was weird.

I admit it. I’m kind of hating the job market right now. And my back-up plan of going to law school that so excited me just a few weeks ago? I had a meeting with the head of my paralegal department last week to talk to him about law school, and he seemed dead-set against it. In fact, he seemed dead-set against me, in general. To everything I said, he had two responses:

1. I don’t think that’s the right thing for you to be doing.

2. Now see, that’s your problem!

Me: I’m really interested in water law, and I think it’s going to be a growing area of concern in the near future. Although I like the paralegal program, I think I can be more effective in making public policy as an attorney, so that’s why I’m thinking about law school

Him: I don’t think that’s the right thing for you to be doing. Now, have you done an internship yet with a water law attorney?

Me: No, I was looking into it, but I’m having trouble finding someone local who is interested in taking a student on.

Him: Where have you been looking?

Me: The internet.

Him: Now see, that’s your problem!

Like so. Except with me not being very articulate, since I had only gotten one and a half hours of sleep the night before. Maybe that really was my problem. Anyway, I am supposed to talk with him again next week, but at this point, I worry that he’s actually talked me out of law school, what with his not very good reasoning and total lack of understanding of who I am and what drives me. Which, at this point in my planning process, makes sense. I found this quote from David Byrne the other day, in my wanderings. He’s talking about not wanting to read a bad review from a critic who’s long dogged him, but it rang true to me as well.

While taking criticism on board can be constructive, it can also be detrimental to the creative process if it’s considered while that process is still under way. It undermines one’s enthusiasm and will — which is OK, beneficial even, but only after a tour (for example) is over. This review, by all reports, wasn’t helpful criticism anyway — it seemed to be one of those reviews that comes from some psychological issues the writer has — and therefore even a belated reading is not going to help us refine what we do.

That said, I’m not really sure what to do now. Do I want to go to law school? Is it even possible for me to find a job? I think in times like these it’s best to retreat to lick one’s wounds, and ruminate upon the restorative properties of several bottles of wine.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Aunty Christ lost her shaved ape and forgot what she was looking for

The Brits, of course, are famous for their humor—or, as they say, “humour” (snobs)—so perhaps it’s no surprise that this fucking cracked me up. I saw that one Freakonomics dude on The Daily Show a few weeks ago, and I was actually considering checking out his work, seeing how Aunty Christ loves a book wherein a technical subject usually inaccessible to laymen is dumbed down enough for her stupid head to understand. See also: Brian Greene’s books on string theory, Robert Glennon’s scary works on aquifers, anything by Stephen Jay Gould. But the Guardian’s Sady Doyle causes me to reconsider.

Freakonomics, of course, is the science of choosing an appropriately wacky or controversial subject (sumo wrestlers, abortion), applying a little economic analysis to it and coming up with a shocking conclusion that will make people blog about you. In that respect, the how-to-charge-for-sex piece was a no-brainer. Expressing any opinion about prostitution will bring on outrage (and attention) from one corner or another, no matter what your opinion turns out to be. Of course, if you are aiming for maximum impact, it helps to be—as [Steven] Levitt and [Stephen] Dubner are—really, stunningly, remarkably wrong.

Apparently, what the two authors are nice enough to do in their new book (titled, of all things, Superfreakonomics) is compare and contrast two prostitutes: one who is, by all markings, a success, and one who is not. One makes between $350 and $500 an hour, and one makes that much per week. One loves men and the general work of prostitutin’, and the other hates them, and it. Doyle says, of the lesser prostitute:

Hey, here's an interesting thought: Maybe LaSheena doesn't like men because she's trapped in a cycle of poverty, and one of the only ways for her to stay alive is to have sex with men, whether or not she really wants to. Maybe that's enough to make LaSheena dislike men. We'll never know, however, because Dubner and Levitt don't ask. They don't care to humanise her.

Better to be a prostitute like Allie, the book’s authors conclude, who is not only rich and white (we assume, since the book, again, doesn’t actually treat its characters like actual people, you know, with actual backgrounds and traits and stuff), but, if she doesn’t actually like her chosen path, at least knows how to play the game:

Boy, oh, boy, does Allie ever love being a prostitute! Why, do you know that she just went ahead and did it on a whim, as a sexy adventure, and not because of any nasty old compelling factors like poverty or addiction or a man literally arranging for her to be raped over and over again and taking money from her rapists or anything like that? Well, it's true. The Freakonomics gentlemen said so!

Oh ho ho, that makes me laugh. LaSheena, if sucking cock for $20 a pop doesn’t make you recognize your clients as the generous, lovable people they clearly are (not to mention: strong, handsome), perhaps you are in the wrong business! Please stop being so not-rich and not-white and with-few-options and bitter.

Sady Doyle, thank you for saving me a couple bucks. Also: I love you.

This story is a few years old, but for some reason never hit my radar at the time, despite its obvious universal appeal. Pony is an orangutan in Borneo who was completely shaved and kept in a “prostitute village.” The best/worst part of the interview?

Did the clients realize that they were in fact getting an orangutan?

Oh yeah, they would come in especially for it. You could choose a human if you preferred, but it was a novelty for many of the men to have sex with an orangutan. They shaved her every other day, which meant that her skin had all these pimples and was very irritated. The mosquitoes would get to her very badly and the bites would become septic and be very infected, as she would scratch them constantly. They would put rings and necklaces on her. She was absolutely hideous to look at.

I want to say that this falls under the category of “Those brown people and they kinky perversions*,” along with, say, Tijuana donkey shows, any number of popular myths surrounding African Americans (or, for that matter, Africans), and the entire country of Thailand. But since this wasn’t a huge news story in the States, maybe not. Maybe it’s just one of those examples of people being totally fucked up. And I guess that’s perhaps what one should expect when one googles “shaved orangutan.” Total fuckedupedness.

Moving away from prostitution for a sec, what else do we have here? Well, apparently, Rachael Ray doesn’t think unemployed Ohioans have it hard enough: She is going to cook them dinner. I suppose as long as they don’t have to talk to her, or serve her a meal in a restaurant, it can’t be that bad. Right? Right?

At least that gives me something for my gratitude journal today. At least I don’t live in Wilmington, Ohio. Thank goodness.

*By which I mean white Americans’ fascination with the idea that those of other races are more prone to nonstandard sexual practice, and not an actual something that is based in any kind of reality outside of someone’s mind.