Monday, May 23, 2011

We've both said a lot of things you're going to regret: Motherhood, the monomyth and Portal 2

Sometimes you find a piece of pop culture that hits you right in the mythology. Twilight is like that - despite its mediocrity, something about it just resonates with one's inner 14-year-old girl, and if you happen to also be an outer 14-year-old girl, it's the story of your life. For my dude it's FLCL, which I found to be well animated but kind of a mess, but which speaks to him on some young-boy-coming-of-age everything-represents-a-penis emotional level I can't comprehend.

For me it's Portal.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Now panic and freak out

What to Expect When You're Expecting is, it turns out, just as alarmist and passive-aggressive as I'd heard. I'm not even pregnant (yet) and it's making me freak the fuck out. It is, however, improved considerably when you imagine it being read aloud by GlaDOS.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's just something that feels snide about the cutesy parenthetical comments, like this bit in Chapter 1: "You'll only need two protein servings, three calcium servings and no more than six whole-grain servings daily until you conceive - plus you won't have to start adding those extra calories (and if you need to lose some weight preconception, you might need to cut some calories out.)"

Also that jumpsuit is very unflattering on you. I'm only saying that because I care.

Alarmism from Chapter 4: "There's no evidence that a couple of drinks on a couple of occasions very early in pregnancy...can harm a developing fetus. So you - and all the other moms who didn't get the message right away - can relax. That amount of alcohol is safe for pregnant women."

Everything's going to be fine except for that horrible mistake you just made.

Also Chapter 4, on cat safety: "Don't send your feline friends packing. Since you've lived with them for a while, the chances are pretty good that you've already contracted the cat-related disease toxoplasmosis."

Please proceed to quarantine. Don't worry! The decontamination process is less excruciatingly painful than it used to be.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What day is it?

"May the Fourth."

"Well, May the Fourth be with you."

That's from an episode of Count Duckula I saw on Nickelodeon shortly after we got cable in approximately 1989. I immediately sporfled my Tang out my nose and called my best friend, and we have been wishing each other a nerdy May 4 for more than 20 years now.

So, yeah. I was celebrating Star Wars Day before Star Wars Day was cool. I would put a Hipster Ariel here for emphasis except that's so old meme. I'm into this other meme right now. I'd describe it but you probably wouldn't get it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Five Types of Dudes to Back Away From Slowly

You know what I love? Reading bullet-pointed lists of traits I should or should not possess if I am ever to Get a Man. No, really, I love them. I used to love them because I was a teenage girl mired in self-loathing and desperate for advice on how to get boys to like me (advice to younger self: the answer is "go to college"). Now I love them because, like any self-respecting citizen of the Internet, I revel in reading things that induce delicious, delicious rage.

Some of that rage is at myself, because I used to read lists such as this, admonishing that guys didn't like brainy mouthy know-it-alls, and dumbed myself down considerably in the presence of dudes in whom I was interested (or in whom I thought I should be interested, which, I learned later, are two completely different things.) Unfortunately for me, it worked. Because the dudes you get when you downplay your intelligence and humor and general awesomeness are not the kind of dudes you want to get.

So, I present to you examples of some of these guys, encountered in the field: Five Types of Dudes to Back Away From Slowly.

1) The Power Tripper

He's charismatic, he's gentlemanly, and he's at least two inches taller than you (in heels) (you are wearing the heels, not him). He's also generous - he never lets you pay, he takes you to great restaurants where he pulls your chair out and informs the waiter what the lady will have, and if you stick around a future of small velvet boxes with something tasteful in them is almost assured. But alas, you're not imagining that dirty look he gives you every time you're out with his friends and you crack a joke, or express expertise, or even just try to join in the conversation. Did he throw a fit when you announced you were going back for your MBA? Does he make "make me a sandwich" jokes at inappropriate times in front of inappropriate people? (For me, any time is an inappropriate time for a sandwich joke, but you may be more tolerant.) You, my friend, have got a Power Tripper.

The Power Tripper will treat you right, so long as "right" means "like it's 1959." Alas, too many girls are raised (I was) to mistake this for the right kind of right, then get confused when this ideal manly man is actually a petulant insecure asshole. And he's more sinister than your standard one-upping competitive jerk, because his identity as A Man depends on you as A Woman being lesser than and dependent upon him, and if he senses you're not, the foundations of his whole world are a-tremble and he must put you in your place. This is why you need to watch out for unwanted physicality - picking you up and carrying you around when you've specifically told him not to, tickle fights that go well past you telling him to stop. Very bad signs. Very bad signs in any guy at any time, actually.

You can tell a Power Tripper apart from a standard-issue chivalrous generous guy by offering to pay. If he says "No, I really want to take you out tonight, you get the next one," you're good. If he gets indignant and red in the face and demands to know what kind of namby-pamby you take him for, you have your answer. Stick with him and keep your mouth shut and your bikini line waxed and you could be on the fast track to Trophy Wife Gated Community, if you're into that sort of thing, but keep in mind what happened to Betty Draper. You want to spend the best years of your life lonely and frustrated in your housedress shooting pigeons in the backyard?