Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

I was preparing to write a whole post about the latest discrimination against gay people – namely, the proposed bills that would allow businesses to deny service to gay people, and the potential GOP presidential candidate claiming that PRISONS are evidence that being gay is a choice (and his subsequent apology) – but then I got sick this weekend, and have been playing catch-up with grad school work all week. I want to do this topic justice, but I also wanted to post SOMETHING before the deadline for next week’s post, so here’s the short version (and in the meantime you can exercise your rage meter by reading the articles linked above): This discrimination is despicable. We have done this sort of thing before. With black people. Remember how we, as a country, decided that discrimination against people who are different from you is wrong? News flash, folks: this still applies. But part of me almost wants to let them deny service. Because not only will they lose the business of gay people, they’ll also lose the business of people like me who believe in equal rights. In a perfect world, allowing them to do this would run their business into the ground. It’s also really frightening to me that someone who could potentially be governing the country would claim that being gay is a choice based on what happens in prisons. Luckily, he is a neurosurgeon, and is probably closer to the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to potential GOP candidates due to the lack of a job in politics. But I don’t know that much about him other than that he is obviously not a scientist. Ok, I have to cut myself off now, because I’m about to give a geology 101 lab midterm! I might come back to this topic. Or I might post a bunch of dog photos detailing the many nicknames we have for our household’s labs. I will leave you with this: I have snakeskin hoop earrings. I like to tell people I made them from the rattlesnake I killed doing field work to save the life of my field assistant, who had a particular fear of them.


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You may have heard about the new push in some states to allow guns on college campuses. The NY Times recently published this article about the latest argument some are using to justify allowing guns on college campuses.

My rage meter is on full blast and set to explode about this.

I do not make my distaste of guns a secret. I think this country needs a hell of a lot more gun control than it has. That said, I don’t have a problem with people using guns to hunt game. It’s all the other reasons people own and use guns, outside of law enforcement, that drive me crazy. But this goes WAY beyond my personal feelings about guns.

The people who are trying to push the allowance of guns on college campuses – which in most cases have already made their decisions either at the campus level or the state level to NOT allow guns on campus – have decided to exploit the hot issue of sexual assault to justify their arguments.

The argument is this: if women are allowed to carry guns on college campuses, they will be less likely to get raped. The ability to carry a gun would be a deterrent to rapists.

Are. You. Frakking. Kidding me.

Personally, I would prefer to simply NOT BE RAPED, thank you very much. The fact that it is a horrible crime against basic human rights should be enough of a deterrent for rapist scum. I should not have to carry a gun in order to prevent someone from raping me. Rape culture, in the USA especially, is still massively misunderstood, but this does not mean a bandaid (guns on college campuses) is even a remotely valid solution.

Then there’s the statistic that most rape victims are sexually assaulted by people they already know, so they might not actually think to pull a gun on them until it’s too late anyway. (Thankfully, the NYTimes article mentions this. The number is 2/3, in case you were wondering.)

The people using this argument have failed to acknowledge the fact that allowing guns on college campuses would also allow potential rapists to carry guns. So explain to me how forcing a shootout between a rapist and a victim is a good solution to this problem.

The first quote the NYTimes article uses is from Florida State Representative Dennis K. Baxley is, “If you’ve got a person that’s raped because you wouldn’t let them carry a firearm to defend themselves, I think you’re responsible.”


The ONLY person who is responsible for someone getting raped is the rapist themselves. No one else is responsible for that. That is extremely unhealthy thinking. If you think you’ve ever been in a position to stop a rape, only to realize it later, do not blame yourself. The only person responsible for a rape is the rapist committing the crime. Don’t let people like Baxley use guilt like this.

What about the countless women, like myself, who can’t even begin to imagine using a gun on another person, no matter what crime they were about to commit. The very idea is terrifying. I don’t want to have someone else’s blood on my hands. You can have all the training you want, but still shoot someone in a bad place under the pressure of fear.

Now, the potential ramifications for sexual assault aside, there are many other reasons allowing guns on college campuses is a terrible idea.

Lockdowns spring instantly to mind. Last year, we had a lockdown at my school because an armed man tried to rob a couple businesses north of campus, and decided to escape through campus. Students, faculty, and staff were required to stay locked in their classrooms while the authorities (campus security and the city police) searched for the guy.

Imagine what could have happened if students were allowed to carry guns on campus? How many of them would try to be the hero and go hunt the guy down themselves? How would the authorities know who the real criminal is if half the student-aged people walking around were carrying guns? Chaotic disaster.

Think about the negative ramifications for loosening gun control on college campuses, not just the potential positives. In my opinion, the negatives here far outweigh the potential for women (who actually can see themselves using a gun) to protect themselves against rapists. We shouldn’t have to carry guns to prevent people from wanting to sexually assault us. Human decency should do that on its own. I know we don’t live in a perfect world, but this is not the answer.

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With all the buzz about the 20 week abortion ban that was supposed to be voted on in the House, but is now sitting at the individual state level, I feel the need to vent my rage and frustration. I know plenty of other people have done this before me, but now it’s my turn.

The argument around abortion rights is not pro-life vs. pro-choice. It’s anti-choice vs. pro-choice. You can be pro-life AND pro-choice. If you want to be. It’s your CHOICE.

NARAL Pro-Choice America explains what it means to be pro-choice perfectly on their website:

“Being pro-choice means protecting women’s access to safe, legal abortion. It also means working on ways to help reduce the need for abortion, like improving access to birth control. And it means supporting women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term.”

I am not going to argue about when I think a fetus becomes a person. I’m not writing this to change your opinion on that. I’m writing this because we all have different opinions about that, and abortion, and we should be free to make our own choices about what we do with our bodies. I will say this, however: in many cases, people are in the “pro-life & anti-abortion” camp because of their religious beliefs. That’s fine. I have no quarrel with that. But, this country was founded, at the very basic level, as a place to practice freedom of religion. We also practice separation of church and state. Therefore, if you want to control whether or not someone else (read: who is not you) has an abortion, it can have NOTHING to do with your religious beliefs. You cannot force your religious beliefs on another person. And since an unborn fetus is not a citizen over the age of 18 and therefore has no bearing on politics, abortion rights should not be a political issue. They should ONLY be a medical one. But, unfortunately, this is not the case. Roe v. Wade was 32 years ago, yet we are still arguing about it.

I am so sick and tired of politicians, particularly male politicians, trying to control what I do with my body, trying to control how I reproduce (if I were to choose to do such a thing, but that is a whole different discussion).

I’m tired of hearing politicians (in particular, male Republican politicians) make complete idiots of themselves when they mistakenly try to make excuses for rape whenever the question of aborting a rape pregnancy comes up. I know it is not all of them. But I’ve heard it happen enough times that it makes me sick to my stomach, and I’m tired of it. It scares me more than I’d like to admit that people like that are capable of making decisions about my abortion rights. I am thrilled that the reason the 20 week abortion ban vote was thrown out because they couldn’t define rape properly, but the fact that it was on the table on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade infuriates me. We made this decision already. Why can’t people just let it go?

On that note, why do men have a say in this at all? In the reproductive process, they have one job, at the very beginning, and then they can walk away, if they really want to. Physically, that is. They don’t have to endure the 9+ months of a fetus growing inside them, and all the hormonal changes and physical discomfort and pain that come with it. They don’t have to worry that something could go wrong during delivery causing their death. So again, I ask, why do men get to vote on abortion rights?

I’m not saying men can’t have an opinion about it. People can have opinions about anything they want. And if a man has helped make his partner pregnant, he can absolutely tell her what he wants to happen next. But ultimately, the woman should be allowed to make the decision about whether or not she carries it to term. It’s her body, and her life, that will be affected the most in the next 9 months.

If we have to continue to make abortion rights a political discussion, the only people allowed to vote on it should be women. No uterus: no vote. I should be that simple.

It boils down to this: if you are not my doctor, your opinions about what I do with the contents of my uterus do not matter. And even if you are my doctor, I expect you only to express opinions that may affect MY health and safety.

I know nothing will come of this little blog post, but this is one issue I have very strong feelings about, and every time this topic comes up I feel like a broken record. So I thought I should write it down. Maybe someday, someone reading it will make the switch from anti-choice to pro-choice, and the world will be a little safer.

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My birthday was this weekend, so to celebrate I bought myself a Tiny Hannibal Lecter, NBC show edition. I intend to pose him in various situations and take silly picture for my own amusement, and sometimes I’ll use them as a lazy post when I can’t be bothered to have strong opinions about things.



Tiny Hannibal wanted to slice the pork… or perhaps it was a forearm…


Then he took a shot at the lamb… or perhaps it was a bit of rude rump roast…


Tiny Hannibal stands over his master carving skillz.


Then, of course, there was the chocolate cake. I’ll let your imagination run wild with what might be baked into it.


Next up (probably): Tiny Hannibal does Christmas.

Happy Holidays, whichever you celebrate!

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The return of spam poetry

I nearly forgot to blog this week!


  • Last week was finals week
  • I’m leaving town on Thursday and must do all of my Christmas shopping before I leave
  • I celebrated my birthday this weekend with school friends
  • I haven’t even started packing yet
  • Life is chaos.

So instead of my opinion about something, or an update on school (I’m done with classes forever yay!), today you’re getting spam poetry. Also this is an excuse to clean out my spam folder.

Thanks for the Meal

Should have been doing long-ago, nevertheless
to novelty picks
like Choose of Fate,
these picks
won’t just allow you to play,
but make sure you seem good doing it.
Typically they’re afraid
the youngster
or they will not stick to it.

It is believed that steel was learned
There are many different choices
going all the way to the edge.

stagecoach drivеrs
on the Oldd Wеst
who barely topped out
roughed up wіth thhe men.
Anyone named Ɗanny frοm Windsoг

The heart of your writing
did not sit well with me
Someplace within the sentences
unfortunately jumps
end up being amazed.

a colleague
bought me dinner simply
because I found it
Thanks for the meal!!

Next week I will write to you from a different city!

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In the words of a tiny witch who appeared on my doorstep on Halloween, “Your house is really freaking me out!”

Mission accomplished.

I know it’s too late for this year, but here are some decorations my roommates and I put together for our Halloween party that perhaps might inspire you in future. As evidenced by our trick-or-treaters, it was pretty spooky.



This year we decided to turn our front yard into a supernatural-themed graveyard – meaning all the dead people were from our favorite supernatural shows and movies.

Things we purchased from the store and used as-is: fake, sticky, rubbery blood, from Target. Spiderwebs, from Target and Michael’s (spiders are apparently sold separately now). Orange and black light bulbs from Lowes.

Things we made:

Spooky wine bottle candle holders, gravestones, and glowing eyes. We also attempted to make chicken-wire ghosts, as seen on pinterest, but… apparently we didn’t get the right kind of chicken wire because it was rather… droopy.

The gravestones were made from floral styrofoam, found at any crafts store (we got ours from Michael’s). These were spray-painted gray and jammed onto sticks poking out of the ground so they’d stay upright. There are various thicknesses, and we went with the 1-inch thick styrofoam because it was half the price of the 2-inch, but still thick enough to work with the sticks.

When we spray painted the gravestones (and the sign for the cemetery) we painted some wine bottles we had lying around black.


We used acrylic paint to inscribe the gravestones. A sharpie won’t work because the stryrofoam is too bubbly.

IMG_1249 IMG_1248 IMG_1247 IMG_1276

The wine bottles, once painted, were made into candle holders. One thing I learned about candles is that these days they’re designed to be self-consuming. Meaning, if you don’t get the big thick ones, they just melt and, for lack of a better term, evaporate. If you want to stick a bunch of tall candles into wine bottles and hope they just drip all over the bottles – don’t. You have to put a bit more effort into it than that. I ended up lighting one candle at a time, letting it drip sideways until I deemed it short enough, then I stuck it in a bottle. I then used the next candle to melt the sides and cement the first candle into the bottle. (Thanks for the idea, Mom!!)




This is what I call a Pinterest win. Another Pinterest win were the glowing eyes. I don’t have a before photo, but we just took paper towel and toilet paper tubes, cut eyes into them, and stuffed them with glow sticks. You have to wrap dark tape on the ends so they don’t glow out of them.




And for the full effect:




And at night:


We hosted a Halloween party, and I am really proud of our wine table display, mostly put together by my roommate (I only added the wine bottles).


Tiny skulls (came in a big bag) from Target, the lantern was something we had, the napkins came from the sale rack at Michaels, and the sign came from the sale rack at Joanne’s Fabrics. I love that sign so much I’ll probably hang it up in my room all year round.

After the party, the little shark and the little Toothless dragon were very sleepy.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

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Bread Salad Recipe

I was going to write a book review tonight, but… I’ve been working to hard to stay awake long enough, it seems. Super frustrating, as I love this book and I just want to read it all the time.

Arcadia’s Choice comes out in TWO DAYS on September 30th! It is the 3rd part of the Arcadia Day trilogy by Jesi Lea Ryan. I’ll likely have a full review of it by next week, but you should read the first two books – they are fantastic.

So, instead, I’ll share my version of a bread salad recipe I made last night for a BBQ that was a huge hit! Some people were asking for the recipe, so here it is.

It’s from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop, but I make a couple alterations because I do not have grill-using skills and broiling the bread works just as well. The recipes might all be vegetarian, but you could easily add meat or turn any of these into a side to a meaty main-course. Everything I’ve had from this book is delicious.


4 large slices of country bread, cut 1in thick (about 12 ounces). I personally don’t know what 12 oz looks like, and I don’t have the patience to measure that, so I just slice a whole smallish loaf, and leave the ends for snacks. It also works better when you have bread that’s a day or 2 old, but I always forget when I decide to make this, and just let the bread sit out of the plastic for the day before I put it all together. This sort of makes it “stale,” but not really. It’s still good though, so I don’t care.

4 tbls extra-virgin olive oil (I don’t measure this, just use what I need and eyeball it)


1 large garlic clove, peeled (I always go through several of these – you have to grind the garlic into the bread after it’s “grilled” and I have never seen one big enough to last through all the slices of bread, top and bottom).

1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2in dice (I tried to weigh these, but all the scales at the grocery store were off, so I just slice tomatoes until I get tired of it, and I don’t really core them)

1 15oz can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained

1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved, cored, and halved again, then cut into 1/2 in chunks

2 tbls chopped fresh basil leaves (I just buy one of those small packages and cut all the leaves)

2 tbls chopped fresh parsley leaves (I grab a handful and chop them up)

2 tbls red wine vinegar

Fresh ground black pepper

8 cups tender lettuces torn into bite-sized pieces

1. The recipe calls for grilling the bread, but I broil it, so this is what I do. I brush it with the olive oil, but I don’t measure it out, just kind of pour it over a spoon and use the spoon to coat the bread (I don’t have a brush). Sprinkle with salt. Then I broil it for a few minutes on the top rack, and flip it over when the first side starts to get a bit crispy/golden brown. This takes longer than actually grilling the bread, but it give you time to put together everything else. Once both sides of the bread are kind of golden brown, you take the bread out and forcefully rub the garlic into both sides of the bread, leaving bits of garlic behind. Then let the bread cool.

2. Combine the tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, herbs, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

3. Cut the bread into 1-in cubes and add the bread to the bowl with the tomato mixture. Toss to coat. Set aside, tossing once or twice, until the bread softens a bit and soaks up some of the flavors of the salad, about 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings as desired.

4. The recipe says to line the plates with the lettuce, then spoon the salad on top. I just shred lettuce into the bowl until the bowl is full and mix it all together.

5. Serve!

Enjoy! It’s super delicious and filling.

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