Archive for May, 2008

The Police Officer’s Dilemma

So University of Chicago’s Stereotyping and Prejudice Research Laboratory came up with a first-person-shooter style test game where pictures white and black men, armed and unarmed, are flashed in front of real life backgrounds like diners, apartment buildings, business offices, and forested areas. Your job is to determine, in mere seconds, whether the person is armed or unarmed and either holster your weapon or shoot. You really only have milliseconds to decide. If you wait too long you lose points. Shoot an unarmed man you lose points, holster for an armed man you lose points. The only way to increase your score is to make the correct decision. At the end of the “game” (which seems to not only go on forever, but also speeds up more towards the end) you’re given a score and a time average for your reactions to each image divided by race and whether or not they were armed.

Sadly there were vast differences in my reaction times.

Kind of disappointing, huh? Try it yourself, see how you score.

(hat tip to actingwhite)

This weekend sucked

Not all of it. We finally got the tax return (turns out it got delivered to a house around the corner with the same house number, and since both of our streets start with the same letter…*shrug* we get a lot of their stuff too). H sent me out shopping. And The Kid was off with her Grandma J (my MIL) for the weekend.

All of this, plus the great weather, should have added up to an awesome weekend. Not when you’re me it doesn’t.

Two of my closest friends were in a funk (and still are) all weekend. One friend, I’m trying to get her husband to remove his head from his ass so that he can finally see that she needs help. I’m getting close but he wanted to whine about how hard he’s having it. Well it’d be a damn sight easier if she wasn’t beating herself up, now wouldn’t it. sigh People can be so flippin short sighted.

Then there was MT. I know he doesn’t come up much but check the Cast of Characters page. MT is one of my best friends and closest confidants and I knew he wasn’t in a good place but I didn’t know how bad it was until I checked my email this morning and found a note from him talking about he’s been lying in his bed all day playing with his gun (he lives in the deep south out in the woods…he basically needs a gun). My heart sank. Partly because I’m something of the cause of MT’s bad mood. (long story, SO not going into it here).

I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I’m not helping anyone anymore. People come to me for help and I show them the path for them to be able to help themselves but no one seems to want that. They want me to do the work for them and I can’t. I would if I could, but that’s not my path to travel. But no one seems to care about that. They all just want the easy way out. Hell I want the easy way out. But there is no easy way out. There is just life and all that comes with it, and God knows life ain’t easy.

I think I’m going to tune out for a while. Focus inward and start some of the healing that needs to go on in there anyway. My spiritual life is a mess and my personal life will be headed down that road if I’m not careful.

There is no such thing as a fun day of shopping when you’ve got big bewbs

So today H sent me out into the world with his debit card (WOO HOO TAX RETURN!) and told me to pick up a few shirts that are weather appropriate. So I merrily skipped along to Old Navy (trying to get more bang for my buck and not look like I just waltz out of the thrift store…though I do enjoy second hand shops). And that’s when the merriness stopped. Like a screeching halt just in time to prevent a collision with a mac truck stop. Shirts, by and large, are not made for women who have big busts and smaller waists. As discussed before (f.ck you, find the post called BEWBS! yer damn self), I’m a 36DDD. This means the top of my tops has to be a large (or extra large depending on the cut) while everything below the boob-area can be a medium to large (again, depending on the cut). However, shirts are not made like that, unless you’re ordering from Bravissimo, and I just don’t have the sort of money that let’s me pay for something in ┬ús (the British pound is worth about $2…so just double the price of everything and there you have it) and have it shipped from the UK to here.

This means a lot of rack diving and store hopping to find the right shirt that doesn’t strain at the bust or look like you bought it in the maternity section.

Old Navy was a bust (no pun intended). Everything was cut low, haltered and made for skinny bitches who don’t have 36DDD puppies to keep in line and thus can go bra-less (*deep breath* I don’t hate skinny girls…I don’t hate skinny girls…I don’t hate skinny girls).

So I hit Dress Barn…where the sizes aren’t quite what they say they are. I found a few shirts on sale (YAY SALE!). One was a 3/4 length shirt with a cute print on the front and back in French about bicycles. The only size they had was a medium and I’m hoping that it stretches a bit in the wash or else The Girls may make an unexpected appearance one of these days. The other was a great button down with an attached belt. It took three tries to find a shirt that fit properly. The medium gave the clear threat that if I so much as yawned the tiny little plastic button that just barely held my shirt together at the bust was going to go flying and put someone’s eye out. Large was more subtle; it gave the message that even though it fit right everywhere else, the strain on the button at my bust threw up a big red sign that read “I really wanted this shirt and am willing to ignore the fact that it doesn’t fit right across the boobs just so I can have it.” Not good. So I had to go to extra large. If it weren’t for the attached belt, the damn thing would still be on the rack. Sure it fit perfectly across the bust, but without the belt it’d look like I had grabbed it from the maternity section.

Sigh

Next stop was Marshall’s. Yeah that was a joke. Off to Plato’s closet. Ok, before you go on about how I’m wrong for being just this side of thirty and shopping in a second hand store that specialises in juniors clothes just one thing: kiss my ass. I get my clothes cheap and if I have to go digging through racks of clothes that make me want to weep because an extra large is barely big enough for me to breathe in…I will.

I grabbed a few shirts there, tried them on, and put them back. On my way out the store a long white Indian style tunic with silver embroidery caught my eye. Extra large and $14 (it was J Crew so it probably cost the original owner over $30). I said screw trying it on, snatched it off the rack and slapped down the cash (well, debit card) for it.

I also dropped by WalMart (which I usually avoid because…well because it’s WalMart and WalMart is the devil), and for some reason their plus sized women’s section is three times the size of their regular section so I moseyed over to the mens section and found an awesome Lynard Skynard thermal for $5. SCORE!

I skipped home merrily, trying to ignore the injustice that there are a ton of cute shirts out there that don’t fit because I have big boobs.

I do the same thing when I return home from jeans shopping. The day I buy a pair of jeans without the booty gap will be the happiest day of my life.

Even if you can’t donate, a prayer, a good thought, anything is appreciated

A friend of mine put a message on a board we both frequent about her granddaughter. She’s just over a year old as has been battling a rare form of ocular cancer since she was 10 months. If you are able to, you can send a donation to kylieseyes (at) gmail (daht) com through paypal. If you can’t, any positive thoughts or prayers you can give will be greatly appreciated.kylies eyes

Reasons to fear the fact that the fate of our world will be in the hands of today’s kids

Going through my RSS reader’s “recommended feeds” I came across one titled “Computer Class”. Now, I thought this was a clever title that meant something other than the obvious…no. It means just what it says. She’s blogging while in Computer class.

I saw a post stating that Wayne state university wasn’t the school for her…so I checked her profile and came across this little nugget of genius:

Why does the color blue mean raspberry-flavored?

It means blue because, berrys are blue.

*blinks, too stunned to say anything*

She’s 14 and wants to be an OB/GYN when she grows up. Dear God what I wouldn’t give to be a man in 15 years if just to avoid the chance of some how having her as my doctor.

The Kid, the end of the school year and the impending summer of terror

Thursday is The Kid’s last day of school. For whatever reason they start preschool a month late and end it a month early. It’s insane if you ask me.

For the last few weeks I’ve been looking for a day camp for The Kid. There are none. Oh there are day care centers, but I don’t want her to be at a day care center. I want her to be somewhere where she’ll learn something. If I wanted her to sit around indoors doing nothing, I’d keep her home. But camps for four year olds are few and far between.

A local university was doing a reading enrichment program for kids her age. But it was one hour a week and they wanted over $230

There’s a indoor rock climbing gym that has summer programs for kids her age, but it’s at the end of the summer and $165 for a week. Initially I was considering them because their website had up their spring program where it was $130 for 10 weeks of classes. If they had done something like that for their summer session, I’d so be there. But it’s a bust now.

So we have no idea what to do with The Kid, who has asked me to put her back in school once school was over because she didn’t want it to end. God I hope that holds all the way through high school. (please?)

Food blog and Daily Show hilarity

Well I finished setting up my food blog, A Dollar Out Of Fifteen Cents. No entries just yet, but soon come…soon come.

My sister told me Sunday about Comedy Centrals The Daily Show ripping on the Kwame Kilpatrick sex scandal. I haven’t mentioned anything about it lately because I simply don’t have the time to blog every four hours when some new fact comes out about this atrocity. I’m not exaggerating. Every time I open my RSS reader there is some new bit of news about this mess and, honestly, I’m sick of it. The City Counsel voted five to four to oust this bastard and yet…he’s still there. And now there are recall petitions up to remove the five members who voted for his ouster.

WTF?!?

Detroiters, have you lost your fuckings MINDS? What the hell is wrong with you people?

Anyway…The Daily Show…

You gotta see this to believe it.

I’m back, btw…well sort of

The unexpected hiatus I recently took has set me back in my plans to set up my food blog, which is sort of almost ready for an unveiling but not quite.

So instead of blogging on here, I’ll be working on that one for a bit.

That’s a little *too* close to home for my tastes

As a dedicated Second Lifer, I can appreciate that people build actual meaningful relationships on there (I’ve even seen a few that ended in marriage). However, relationships on SL tend to flare up and burn out in record time (I think it has something to do with the fact that there are four SL days to every RL day…basically a new day starts every six hours) so what seems like true love can very easily fizzle out in just a matter of weeks.

But, in the true entrepreneurial spirit of Second Life, someone has found a way to merge both SL and RL all while keeping your privacy. While strolling around OnRez (a website that allows SL creators to sell their wares off-world, and lets addicts like me buy when they aren’t able to get in world; it also helps when you’re feeling particularly lazy and you don’t feel like in-world store hopping and dealing with lag and rez time), I found this little beauty. The concept is simple enough: You pay L$15000 (about $57 US, depending on how the Linden dollar market is doing; at the moment $1 US equals just about L$265…nice to know the US dollar is worth something somewhere, isn’t it) to purchase flowers, candy, wine or jewelry, you give these gifts to your beau in-world, they fill out some information and the gift you gave them on Second Life gets sent to them in Real Life. All without the giver ever knowing the recipient’s address or other personal information.

On one hand, this is a really good idea. Starfruit is owned by a Swiss telecom company, so it has the funding and connections to do exactly what it advertises and it ships to nearly everywhere. So why do I feel apprehensive about this idea? Simply put, there are a lot of people who are married in RL (whether happily or not) and having these sorts of gifts popping up could lead to the end of some marriages. You’re already hearing cases about how sites like Facebook and MySpace ruined someone’s marriage (sure, blame a website, let’s just ignore the big pink elephant in the room that’s carrying the banner “YOUR MARRIAGE WAS ALREADY IN TROUBLE TO BEGIN WITH”).

Plus…I dunno…it seems odd to have the two worlds intersect like that. I have lots of SL friends, but I don’t know if I’d go through the trouble of meeting up with them. I’m not sure that I’d want to meet them. Why destroy the illusion? Tucked safely away behind the avatars, people are willing to be less inhibited. They are more honest with themselves and others. I know details about people’s real lives that they wouldn’t dare tell anyone short of a priest in a confessional. Seeing that person in real life would simply bring it too close to home for my tastes.

However…I do have a birthday coming up…maybe I can drop some hints to a few friends and see if they’ll send me something *grins*

Wonders of Nature

Since my net is down currently, I have to walk up to the library to check email and all that. Now the walk isn’t far and the weather has been pleasant since Spring finally decided to show itself. However there’s always been one sign of spring that’s always baffled me. It’s a peculiar tree that I see around a lot. I don’t know the name of this tree, but if there’s one in your area you’ll know it as soon as I describe it.

I first saw this tree in 7th grade. Our school didn’t have a gym so we played in the park across the street from our building. During the spring there were these trees with these gorgeous white flowers covering them. Apple or cherry blossoms I initially thought. But when I got to the trees I was knocked over by the smell. They reeked like something rotten. I figured it was because the park was home to bums at night. But over time I discovered that that wasn’t the case at all. The trees simply stink.

Standing downwind of these things is like standing downwind of raw sewage. Walking past them, it takes a lot not to gag and choke from the stench. I can’t imagine why anyone would willingly plant these foul things in front of their house except to keep guests away.

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