Monday, December 20, 2010

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

TSA wants to take pictures of you naked using radiation. If you opt out, you get groped.

Personally, I opt for the grope: it isn't much of a choice but I get exposed to enough radiation during the ensuing flight and I like being able to pick who gets to see my white bits. These two issues are nothing compared to the more subtle aspect regarding the systematic invasion of our privacy. The right to our own bodies and private discourse via telephone and internet is eroding. Privacy is a basic right as stipulated in the fourth amendment of the US Constitution and upheld by decades of court proceedings.

The real issue is, "why". It is easy to take the path of least resistance, as redundant as it sounds. If you say to yourself, "I feel safe, so why should I care that other people think our rights are being violated?" then this is about you.

We all benefit when a marginalized group is protected and lifted closer to the playing field. History is painted with broad strokes showing how this is true: I'll give two examples.

In the 1930's Turkey gave full rights to women: it was unpopular and caused social upheaval as the patriarchal culture resented women approaching the status divinely afforded to men. But within the next few decades, as women entered the workforce, even though their job opportunities were limited and many women were still sequestered at home, their inclusion in the economy contributed noticeably to the sudden jump in productivity and increase in the GDP. Whole families had more money for their food, clothing, and education. As more women received a compulsory 8 year primary education, fewer men were required to perform administrative tasks and were freed to engage in higher pursuits. Women still struggle for equality with men in Turkey but everyone benefited from the attempt to level the playing field, not just women.

This next example is more subtle but the benefits were just as profound.

In 1979, Sweden passed a law that made hitting a child a civil offense. This was also an unpopular political move as parents struggled to raise their children without spanking them. The benefits became clear within a decade as the rates of child abuse dropped 80% and within twenty years the rates of children entering foster care dropped to almost zero. The sheer magnitude of economic gain in all but eliminating the need for state care of foster children is nothing compared to the tangible good as indicated by drops in child abuse and displaced children. The bottom line is clear: everyone benefited from taxpaying adults to the most innocent.

So you might ask, "so what does women working and corporal punishment of children have to do with TSA screening techniques?" Well, this is another issue that might take a few years to manifest it's detrimental effect. Imagine how much tax money goes into maintaining the machines and the time lost using them and accommodating those who opt out. How about the deterrent effect on the ailing air travel industry. Think about the cost of care borne by individuals as the rates of cancer increase. Where would it end: travel by train, bus, light rail, and toll road might soon include an electronic strip search and grope festival. We might not be able to shop for groceries or head to the mall with a lighter in our pocket. Most disturbing of all, consider a child who grows up thinking it's okay for an authority figure to take naked photos or grope that child's clothed body.

The fact of the matter is, our rights are violated by the search techniques enacted by TSA, the Patriot Act and Department of Homeland Security. If you still say to yourself, "I feel safe, so why should I care that other people think our rights are being violated?" consider countless Germans who told themselves the same thing starting in 1933 and how many people suffered and died because good men did nothing.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I have two favorite conspiracy theories. They’re both plausible and ridiculous at the same time. I suppose I've always enjoyed a good paradox.

Periodically, someone will muse that scientists have discovered the cure for cancer/HIV/whatever-your-favorite-disease-is, but that they’re suppressing the information because it’s more profitable to treat those diseases than it is to cure them. The logic is there: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The part that is missing is the rationale for sitting on important data. Do you have any idea how famous you would become if you discovered the cure for cancer? It is every scientist’s dream to solve an important puzzle, make as meaningful a contribution to humanity and become as famous as Salk (who created the first cheap vaccine for polio), Flemming (who first purified penicillin) or Pasteur (who discovered an immunization against smallpox, eventually leading to the eradication of the disease). If I discovered the cure for cancer and then withheld the finding, my lab manager, bench mate, primary investigator, or some other nosey colleague would find out about it or another genius from another lab halfway around the world would figure it out (the theory of evolution was created by Darwin and another man, Wallace, essentially simultaneously and on opposite sides of England) and publish it themselves, robbing me of my opportunity for fame and fortune. The intellectual property that a cure for AIDS represents is a goldmine. Think, tenure at Harvard or head of the WHO (Francis Collins’ involvement with the human genome project earned him the position as head of the NIH). Hopefully I’ve illustrated why it’s virtually impossible and downright silly to cover up an important scientific discovery.

This brings me to my next favorite conspiracy: scientists are excluding creationists from contributing to scientific literature. Again, the logic is there: creationism (or intelligent design) and evolution compete for the most plausible theory of the origin of life on earth so it makes sense that the group in power exclude their rival from the competition and silence them from the literature.

Still, the rationale is flawed. Proving creationism means proving the existence of God. Do you have any idea how important you would become if you proved the existence of God? Anyone who did that would be as well known and as powerful as the Pope or Mother Teresa. Stop me when my explanation of why this conspiracy theory is bunk sounds familiar. Maybe I’ll just stop myself.

Hopefully I’ve managed to illustrate why my pet conspiracy theories are little more than that. Any questions?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Write a Letter

President Obama,

As an aspiring biochemist, I understand that net neutrality is vital for sharing of data and advancement of bioinformatic, biotechnological and biomedical interests. In a time when our economy is less than robust and in a country where we're outmanufactured by countries with cheaper labor, innovation stands as our greatest ally. Please preserve the net neutrality that fosters this boon to our intellectual community.

Ellen Watts

Friday, September 3, 2010

Zombie Apocalypse

Satire is any message in a work that's intended to shame people into better behavior. Good science fiction is satire. Science fiction has this special ability as a genre that can carry satirical messages because it can escape the gravity of our natural world.

I was always amused by George Romero's 1978 "Dawn of the Dead". Some contemporary critics were unable to look past the gore and script (which admittedly was incoherent at times). The foibles of a weak stomach include a causal link with adherence to tradition, fear of the unknown and resistance to new ideas. The parallel of squeamishness and ignorance is certainly to the detriment of the reviewers in terms of appreciating Romero's social commentary.

The zombie apocalypse "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth" is the most obvious theme. I appreciate why this is an appealing plot device, still I found this theme somewhat empty as the end of days has been going on for about two thousand years.

The element of Romero's film that struck me was that even in death, we flock to the mall. Consumerism induces sensory overload fueled trance-like state in which our dulled senses cause us to devour the those around us in mindless pursuit of something that can't possibly nourish a body when it is no longer living.

Ironically this same drive to consume materials with no nutritional value caused our financial apocalypse. The living dead exist on unnatural terms and borrowed time. Does this sound like a credit card to anyone else? When the dead try to behave as though they are living or the uneducated seek to live as though they've earning the income of someone who has finished college, we're headed for something shocking and horrifying as society collapses into chaos. (I hope you'll also note that I draw a real appreciation for and ability to really live life in being educated.)

Zombie apocalypse or financial collapse, our only hope is to lay low and focus on surviving until the crisis passes and we can build again.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Serial Killer Haiku

Corpse generator,
Your hobby is very strange

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Write a Letter to your Representatives

Dear Texas Representatives,

As a constituent concerned about ensuring quality education in our district's public schools and across the country, I urge you to cosponsor H. Res. 1593.

As an aspiring scientist and proud American I'm dismayed that more than half my colleagues hail from Asia and another quarter from Europe. While I'm glad that my foreign coworkers are best qualified for their positions I'm saddened that American education standards have fallen such that so few Americans are admitted to graduate level programs in science and medicine.

The ratio of aspiring American scientists and doctors to those from other countries actually reflects the percentages of Americans that have a comprehensive understanding of evolution which is estimated at less than 20%.

I understand the desire that Christians feel to promote creationism and intelligent design in science classes but I fear they're not considering the consequences. In our ailing economy, scientists have a great deal of potential to contribute valuable advances and exports in the field of biotechnology and medicine. Most of my foreign colleagues will return to their country of origin and build their respective economies; not ours.

Please help build American industries by supporting education that will allow Americans to enter fields that will benefit our country for generations to come.

Please cosponsor H. Res. 1593 to draw attention to the dangers of politicizing curriculum standards and help ensure that academic standards reflect accurate historical scholarship and teaches skills our students need for success in the twenty-first century.

Ellen Louise Watts

Friday, August 13, 2010


Men want to get laid. Period. This is the only stereotype that I can point to that is almost never shown to have an exception. The point of this post is to reinforce the idea that men can't 'just be friends' with women and that women should embrace this aspect of their relationships with men. Sex is always part of the equation. This phenomenon is biological, psychological, and cultural in its rewards for males proactive in seeking sex.

Subsequently, women are ordained the gatekeepers for sex. There is a real biological reason for this phenomenon: women have 'the goods' in terms of reproduction. A man can fertilize thousands of eggs with almost no cost to him in the strictest biological sense. Each sperm contains less protein, energy, and nucleic acid than what one might sacrifice by scratching the end of their nose. A woman, on the other hand, spends ten months unable to escape a growing fetus that might kill her just through it's delivery from her body. It parasitizes her bloodstream and if she's malnourished, the fetus will thrive at her expense. It's estimated that this experiences ages a woman 3-8 years all the while risking gestational diabetes, autoimmunity like lupus or celiac disease, kidney failure, potentially fatal blood clotting and hypertension, and pregnancy induced tumors. If it survives to term without killing her, it will continue to parasitize her if she chooses to breast-feed it. Breast milk is literally organized breakdown of mammary tissue.

Obviously this is where the whole gate keeping aspect arrives: if the woman makes a good choice in terms of mate, he'll stick around and at least try to compensate the enormous biological burden she's carried or care for the offspring outright if she does not survive the process.

This gets into the psychological and cultural aspects of sexuality. Men hit on a lot more women than women hit on men. It's a numbers game for a guy who doesn't have much going for him or even one who does; if he hits on enough girls, eventually one will sleep with him. Of course this is why women don't take rejection very well; we're used to men making the effort because they don't have much to lose. I digress. Men want to get laid.

Ladies, if a guy says he wants to be your friend, he really means that he wants to sleep with you. There are a few cases that you might think are exceptions to this rule.

1. You're unattractive - this could be as simple as him being gay or that huge mole on your face but I bet if you were cell mates in prison, he'd still do ya;
2. He doesn't want to jeopardize a relationship - this doesn't mean he wouldn't, just he's got a decent reason not to sleep with you. He might even be keeping you around for the attention or as a spare. Note also that the relationship he's protecting doesn't have to be romantic, it could also be a work relationship or one of his homeboys;
3. He wants to sleep with your hotter friend - still, this isn't to say he wouldn't sleep with you but he's smart enough to know that girls usually don't pass guys around and if he sleeps with Betty he's blown his chance to do Veronica... though it never really stopped Archie - damned soulless gingers;
4. He's your father, brother, or other close relative - Even if not for social taboos, we're actually hard wired to feel disgust at incest. Still, if you were stranded on a desert island... ewww;
5. You don't want to sleep with him - implicit in this scenario is that the girl is maintaining the 'friendship' status unilaterally, he might agree with you superficially but he probably imagines you naked while romancing a tube sock;
6. The rare exception is a guy who actually wants to be your friend but not get into your pants. I have never met one of these.

So girls, next time a guy says "I just want to be friends" or your significant other says, "she's just a friend", take pause. You may have been given useful information. This is subtext in negotiating sex and relationships.

Sadly, a lot of women don't realize the power of sex in relationships. With tragic frequency, accomplished ladies lower their standards or even pair off because of social pressure or cultural norms often not anticipating the consequences of poor mate choice. To add insult to injury, men have coined terms designed to further lower our expectations: a girl who wants a man with a reasonable income or just a job is a 'gold-digger'; a woman who demands fidelity is 'jealous'; a lady who seeks an educated man is 'stuck-up' or 'conceited'. The list goes on and while there exist women who have an overwhelming sense of entitlement, the majority of women who are labeled one of the former are simply exercising their biological imperative to discriminate.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Breakfast Haiku

Ants are unwelcome.
They found my breakfast today,
But they taste just fine.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Age Difference

In conversation, a dear friend almost a decade my senior tells me, "You're just too young to know."

At that moment she had effectively conceded her position in the discussion. Instead of a cogent argument, she made a derisive personal attack designed to lead me away from the issue at hand.

I smiled to myself and resisted the urge to follow that path. Still the questions roiled in my brain: Are you old enough to know? When exactly is someone old enough? Can you ever be old enough? How do you know you aren't too old to know?

Each of these questions address the petty nature of the remark but not that the comment is hollow as an argument for her point. Seriously, this could happen:

Kid: Why are you doing that? You're hurting me.
Man: You're too young to understand.
Kid: I don't think your fist will fit, please stop trying to get it in there.
Man: God says it's okay. You not experienced enough to know that we need more lube.

Anyways, happy problem resolution advice day!

Friday, August 6, 2010

True or False: Part II - Tunnel Vision and Headphones

I attribute some of human arrogance and narrow mindedness in terms of worldviews to our tendency to insulate ourselves. We're bombarded with options and don't have time to sort through all of them so we make choices based on trust and superficial analysis instead of informed careful consideration. Because of the ease and frequency of this kind of decision making, we surround ourselves with people who have ideas similar to ours, we read books and blogs, listen to podcasts and radio, and watch television all with the same slant that we tend to favor partly because we pick our media on the recommendations of our friends and because we dismiss ones that don't integrate well with our worldview. We pick our friends based on similar values or preferred activities. When we're faced with a tough decision we turn, if not to friends, to leaders whom we trust. These people are also likely those with similar mindsets to our own. These influences reinforce our ideas in a circular fashion and insulate us from alternatives leaving us increasingly polarized and at times inappropriately confident in our viewpoints.

For example; there was a time when most of us thought that the world was flat. The earth was just a disc in space. People thought that monsters defended the edges of the oceans. They had no proof that these monsters existed but relied on the legends regurgitated by drunk sailors. The idea that the earth was flat persists to this day.

Flat-earthers have their own websites, books, podcasts and set of beliefs formed around the idea that the earth is flat rather than spherical. Even if we weren't raised from an early age to believe one way or another, the idea is intuitive: on a small scale, the earth seems flat. Very few of us have traveled to the other continents, circumnavigated the earth or seen our home planet from outside our atmosphere. The horizon looks more like a straight line than a curve or a circle.

Still, the concepts of seasons, time zones, day/night, sun rise/sun set, etc. make considerably more sense when viewed in the context of a round earth. The evidence for a round earth in terms of mathematics and satellite imagery is overwhelmingly in favor of our planet being round. I'll grant that these concepts are considerably more subtle and esoteric when compared to the 'flatness' of the central Texas landscape or the open ocean.

The real irony here is that "spherical earth" is still just a model. The earth isn't spherical at all but laterally compressed from pole to pole with a variety of features like mountain ranges and deep ocean trenches. Still, spherical earth is a much better model than "flat earth". So when we teach our children that the earth is round, we acknowledge that we got it wrong before: often teaching that we once thought that the earth was flat. We don't teach both and suggest that children choose knowing that one model is far superior to the other.

Still, when we point out the flaws of their model instead of defending the idea that the earth is flat with logic and evidence, flat-earthers claim insult or tyranny of the majority and run back to their flat-earth cronies. Here, their ideas that the earth is flat is supported by the intuitive evidence advanced and validated by their peers. We end up more certain of our ideas than we were before regardless of their bearing on reality. We do this with other concepts too: alchemy versus chemistry; or astrology versus statistics.

This all goes back to the idea that the models we base our decisions on are important. This is because these models allow us to make predictions about the world around us. These predictions inform our actions. This is why it is important that we subscribe to the most accurate models possible and accept that the best models will be able to adapt and evolve as new information comes to light.

That being said, consider this the next time you tune in to your favorite commentator or download your pet podcast: this perspective has a polar opposite and a range of options in between. Our paternalistic culture often punishes us for changing our minds even in the face of legitimate reason for doing so, calling these people "wishy-washy" or "flip-floppers". Some of these options are indeed silly, like flat earth, but on some level they make sense, conform to tradition, and are appealing emotionally. Have you considered any alternatives to your closely held beliefs? Can you really commit to an idea without critically considering other positions?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Window Haiku

Little birds, Windex
Snapped your necks like broken dreams
Fluttering wings cease

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I don't consider it a triumph that more women graduate from high school and college than men. Nor do I find it comforting that more men than women were laid off during 2008 and 2009. I'm certainly a feminist by any stretch of the imagination but to the end of equality and not domination of one group over another. I'm probably sensitive to the issue of gender because it affects me. In researching this post I realized that black and Hispanic men and women are underrepresented in the workforce and as graduates of high school and college. I'm sure that as I leave my twenties, I'll become more sensitive to the concept of ageism as well.

The examples I've cited have fundamentally different roots. As of 2008, 61.5% of women and 59.8% of men obtain a high school diploma and 21.3% of women and 17.8% of men graduate from college. Matriculation rates for women have been dramatically influenced by improved sex education, ease of access to birth control and the empowerment of women who are not financially dependent on others. While I'm glad that the rates of men and women completing twelfth grade and going on to attain a bachelor's degree are approximately equal, there is a trend toward womens' completing these rites of passage at an increasing frequency relative to men. I have to ask myself why it is that men aren't working as hard as women. Is it that men don't have anything to prove anymore since society places the white patriarchal stereotype on a pedestal?

When it comes to race, the disparities are amplified. I couldn't find the statistics for women of color versus men but just shy of 51% of blacks and 54% of Hispanics complete high school. More disturbing, only 13.5% of black students finish college and 9.5% of Hispanics. This extends to these groups in the labor force as well.

Ironically, men were let go more often than their female counterparts during the market crashes of late. This is largely attributed to the disparity in pay for men and women. For every dollar earned by a man a woman will earn only 80 cents. Adjusting this for women leaving the labor force for maternity leave adds only three cents. Again, race compounds the differences. If you're a black woman it's only 68 cents. Latinas only earn 60 cents per dollar earned by a white man. If you're an Asian woman you'll earn 92 cents for every dollar. The slight improvements seen between 2000 and 2009 are attributed to the availability of funds remaining after laying off men who were doing the same job.

For unemployment rates during this recession, joblessness for blacks versus whites is nearly double across the board. That is to say that regardless of level of education, for every jobless white person, there are two black people out of work. Hispanics fell in between: for every white person out of work, 1.5 Hispanics are unemployed.

Equality is still a long way off. The flat rates of unemployment and graduation disguise the gap in genders and races. If you haven't considered these details to be a problem, you're probably white or male: in other words, it hasn't affected you. This should bother you regardless of your race, gender or employment status. I suspect that these ranges of earning and matriculation based on gender and race are cultural, political, educational, and historical in origin and that the prevalence of stereotypes persist to reinforce and maintain these inequalities.

Equality is about educating everyone and giving everyone a shot at contributing to our society as a whole. I won't pretend that people aren't different from one another. It's something we should celebrate and not something that we should use to oppress one another. What makes humans great is our ability to cooperate and build great things that benefit everyone. In order to do that we have to be able to look past petty differences.


I tried to keep this post short to make it accessible to everyone and included links to try and encourage you to do your own research. Please don't take my word for it. Be interested, get involved; educate someone else, write a letter, volunteer.

Monday, July 26, 2010


One of the major sources of conflict between men and women lies in how they use language and conflict. Typically men value status and women esteem closeness but this isn't where the conflict arises. Indeed these two value systems are entirely compatible. The difficulty arises in how we use the same language without understanding what the other party is really saying and what they really want.

Men use language to negotiate status. Women use language to negotiate closeness. Conflict is a natural part of communication. Men use conflict to assert dominance and gain status. Women avoid conflict to maintain closeness. These differences can escalate and perpetuate conflict in ways that might seem inappropriate to each party especially when compared to how they communicate with people who use their respective communication style. This is because both parties end up inadvertently arguing right past one another. I'll address three common ways that this might happen.

1. Responsibility - Often a girl will be much angrier about a perceived injustice than she might otherwise be because the man tries to secure a status of blamelessness. He's offering any reason he can think of to prove to her that he didn't do anything wrong. Men tend to do this because they're conditioned that they'll lose status if they admit fault. This inadvertently escalates the conflict by invalidating her initial, legitimate upset. Now she's angry about the dude's excuses instead of whatever it was that started the argument. The solution to this problem lies in two parts: Men, you've got to realize that accepting responsibility for whatever it was, no matter how small, will win and maintain status with HER (the title "boyfriend" "husband" or "friend" is a symbol of interpersonal status - that's what you really want, isn't it?) Ladies, you have to remember that he's fighting to get out of blame because he thinks you'll lower his status for being fallible. Ask him for what you really want: an apology (an apology is a symbol of closeness and understanding - that's what you really want, right?).

2. Silence - Another reason a woman might seem to overreact is that she's been irritated by a behavior all along but hadn't said anything about it until now. She's keeping quiet because she wants to avoid conflict and maintain closeness. The pent up resentment has evolved into rage and she explodes at something he may have done before without penalty. It's like being kicked in the leg repeatedly: it doesn't hurt much the first time so they don't say anything (to avoid conflict and maintain closeness) but as the jabbing continues a bruise begins to form and eventually it hurts enough for them to cry out in pain and kick their tormentor in the genitals. The kicker is confused because they've been doing it for days/weeks/months/years and the kickee never indicated it was painful. The solution to this problem lies in two parts: Girls, you've got to speak up. He's not a psychic. Guys, she doesn't want to fight with you and that's why she didn't say anything until now.

3. Burials - Another scenario where one party might be perceived as overreacting is when the source of upset involves unresolved issues from other relationships. It's similar to the latter but might take some patience and empathy to sort through the details. An example might include a girl who gets upset one night when her significant other gets home late from work without calling. He might dismiss her behavior as irrational or be hurt that she doesn't trust him. What our heroine is really responding to the emotions brought up by the memory of her father getting home late from work because he was fooling around with his secretary, leaving her alone with her drunk abusive mother. The fear of abandonment surrounding the issue are based on the current situation only in part and the bulk of her feelings come from a real place that our hero may know nothing about. A healthy relationship might resolve the conflict by the girl telling her lover that he didn't do anything wrong and that she knows he didn't mean to upset her. He might reassure her that her feelings are valid and accept that he'll need to call in order to keep her from worrying. She might not be able to voice right away the reasons for her frustration and both parties will have to be patient until she can identify the mechanism for the trigger.

As a general rule I can say that about 20% of the emotional content surrounding any conflict between two people is about the current situation and the rest is based on past experience, misinterpretation or mistreatment of the situation. The responsibility lies with both parties in being aware of these differences and exercising empathy and patience.

I realize I'm generalizing about communication styles with respect to gender and while these generalizations are based on observation there are always exceptions to the rule. This blog is really about appreciating that we all have different communication styles and value systems and that just because a message seems clear to you, it doesn't mean that it's clear to whomever you're trying to communicate regardless of their gender.

Good luck and happy conflict resolution day!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

True or False: Part I - Energy Drinks give you Wings!

Almost anyone will agree with me that beliefs are important. I'll suggest that our beliefs are important because they inform our actions. Therefore it is important to have as many true beliefs and as few false beliefs as possible. This practice will keep you from doing stupid things and possibly ending your existence prematurely.

Even so, just about all rational persons have a couple of ridiculous beliefs that they cling to for emotional reasons. There is no cure for willful ignorance but I'm an optimist.

Were I to hold a stupid belief, for example that drinking energy drinks would cause me to sprout giant bird wings, I hope that someone would disabuse me of that fallacy. People might argue that I have nothing to lose and wings to gain for my belief. This falsely assumes that believing has no cost.

Believing things that are not true has a cost: in this case, incessant sugar buzz, a financial burden, the risk of tooth decay, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and a battery of other health risks. It might also lead to ridiculous arguments about things I couldn't prove like the claim that I simply hadn't consumed enough energy drinks to nourish the growth of my promised wings. People might think I was an idiot. In this case I would actually be an idiot. I don't want to be an idiot or to be perceived as one. This is part of the reason why I happen to care whether or not my beliefs are true even if the false ones promise appealing things.

The truth is that energy drinks are delicious with vodka and that copious consumption will not allow you to grow wings unless you're the sort who believes that you'll get a pair when you die.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pissing Match

Having an argument it a lot like being toilet trained. We aren't born knowing where, when or how to do it best. We have to be trained but still, no one ever offers to teach us... how to argue.

Strangely we wonder why people do it at inappropriate times and in awkward places: during family dinners, at a party, during a trip to the mall or supermarket, etc. Poor timing and placement can be embarrassing and messy. You have to do it in the right place - outside is okay, in private is better. Of course, in order to do it in the right place, you might have to hold it for a little while, until you can get out of the room or across the hall. You might also have to wait for someone to finish so that you can properly express yourself.

But even when people learn where to have a fight (or pee) people don't always know that they have to be precise. Don't make a mess. Right? So wipe the seat or even better: aim. What I really mean is, tailor your message to your audience. You wouldn't sit on a urinal would you? So why would you talk to a man the same way you would to a woman?

Women in particular are often told never to do it at all. Then we wonder why people explode at inappropriate or inopportune moments. Cultural mores dictate that women aren't supposed to entertain bodily functions or show anger. Freud may have been more right than I had previously thought... except about women. If you're telling a woman that she isn't supposed to pee... er, get angry; that it's irrational or unmerited, don't blame her when she can't hold it any longer. She needs a special place and designated time to vent, just like a man does.

Human waste is never pleasant but if handled properly can be relatively painless to remediate. Be thoughtful in when, where, and how you approach your shit so that it doesn't hit the fan.

Good luck with your metaphorical toilet training!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Awkward Boner

I don't want to know about your boner
TMI is why you are a loner

I know what most guys do with a hard dick
My brother calls it the "belt tuck trick"

When I see your priapism
My very next thought is about your jism.

Then I throw up in my mouth.
So, please don't be so uncouth.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer Haiku

It is like magic.
Talcum powder keeps me dry.
Poof of smoke, dry butt!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


The most difficult and the most rewarding thing in an argument between friends can be a sincere apology. Unfortunately, there is a fundamental difference in how men and women use and respond to the language of apology.

Typically men view an apology as an admission of fault or guilt where women use it as a way to reconnect after a disagreement. This essay is dedicated to helping men understand what an apology is to a woman and how to construct an appropriate one.

Guys, you can't tell a woman what to feel. Her emotions are real or you wouldn't be trying to change them. They're important or it wouldn't matter if she is upset or happy. Save yourself from making her angrier when you try to convince her that her emotions are unmerited or irrational. This is what we call "adding insult to injury". I'm pretty sure it would confuse and upset you if someone said that your ears (which for the record are also real and important) were clouding your judgment and that you should ignore them. Emotions can be a helpful guide in decision making, not unlike your ears.

Now on to crafting that apology. A successful apology has 3 major parts and I'll address each separately.

1. Admit your transgression. There's nothing wrong with a good old, "I was wrong." This owns the act. Saying, "I'm sorry we disagree" or "I'm sorry you think I was wrong" is insulting. You're not taking responsibility for your actions and you're denigrating her stance on the issue. You care about this lady or you wouldn't be trying to fix things. Subsequently, her point of view should matter to you and you'll win points by making that clear to her.

2. Acknowledge her feelings. Now that you've addressed the act, you need to take responsibility for the consequences. "I hurt your feelings," should be your basic model. This shows that you understand her emotional state as a logical consequence of your actions. Saying "you're feeling hurt," is a big no-no. You're disconnecting your actions from her emotions. You need to connect the two so that you can reconnect as friends.

3. Express regret. You've owned your actions and the consequences and now you've got to be sure she understands why you're apologizing. Presumably you're apologizing because you care about her. This is the part we typically associate with an apology and it goes like this, "I'm sorry."

So let's string that all together. "I was wrong, I hurt your feelings, and I'm sorry." This is really a basic model and I encourage you to explore possible permutations for a more sincere and relevant apology. For example, "I'm sorry I ran over your cat with my car. I know you loved that cat and I'm sorry I killed your beloved pet. I know I made it worse when I tried to blame the cat for sleeping under the car. That was wrong. I could have checked. I knew the cat liked to sleep there."

There's another part to reconnecting with your lady-friend that isn't totally necessary but will help her feel understood and help the two of you to get back on the same page by inviting her to participate in your future together. This has two parts, are you ready?

A. Offer a solution. This can be as simple as saying, "I will never do that again." but this isn't always realistic. If you're a repeat offender you lose credibility and insult her intelligence for a reasonable expectation of future behavior based on past experience. You might gain points in saying, "This is a personal flaw and I'm working on it." For example, "I'm sorry I keep throwing my clothes on the floor. I know it irritates you and I'm trying to be neater." It should go without saying but you do have to make good on any agreement you reach. For example, "I won't get upset if you leave my dirty clothes on the floor instead of washing them." An alternative is to ask her if there's anything you can do to make it up to her. This is a great way to bring her back into the situation and empower her to contribute to the relationship. Obviously you have to make good on any commitment you make in a timely manner or we're back to step one.

B. Ask her to forgive you. This might seem like a no-brainer but it's often left out of making amends after disagreement. Absolution isn't unilateral and requires a meeting of the minds. This is the part that drives home the idea that her happiness is important to you and that you want to be in her good graces. The basic model is "please forgive me." Depending on the severity you might add, "I understand if you can't forgive me," to avoid seeming presumptuous.

A crucial part of these steps to working things out with a girl is sincerity. If you don't really mean it or you don't know why she's upset you've got two problems: a pissed lady-friend and an incomplete understanding of the situation. Take some time to put yourself in her shoes. You won't lose face by asking to explain her perspective. This indicates you want to understand her and will help convince her of your sincerity.

Guys, I know there are a dearth of blogs and articles just like this one on the internet and I have to commend you just for taking the time to look. Whether it's your daughter, wife, sister, girlfriend, mom, boss, or a friend; your relationship with these women will benefit from understanding what an apology means to her and that she will respect you for owning your actions and taking responsibility for the consequences.

Happy relationship advice day and good luck!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I sat half asleep with my breakfast and coffee watching our local morning show. The hostess interviews the proprietor of a "catch your cheating partner" service.

After pleasantries and background, she asks an incisive question, "What got you into this line of work? Are you just jilted and bitter?" She's got my attention. I don't see a lot of reporters putting pressure on their subjects. He says that as a former police officer he possesses the skill set. He adds that the chase is thrilling to him.

Her next statement also gets my attention but for a very different reason. "This sort of thing ruins lives." He glosses over the question with some hand waving about how STDs can have a negative impact on an unwitting spouse.

Still, did she really just assert that revealing people's shortcomings ruins lives!? I'm pretty sure it's the character flaws that ruin lives and not the act of shedding light on them.

If someone calls the owner of a "catch your partner cheating" operation, the damage is already done. Whether the partner is cheating or not, the fact that the caller doesn't trust their partner enough to confront them directly and/or they seek to humiliate them publicly is the kiss of death for the relationship. If the partner is cheating (and I'd like to make clear that cheating is an additional relationship carried out in secret despite assurances of monogamy and doesn't apply to an 'open' relationship) the relationship won't survive.

In other words, don't shoot the messenger.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I sent this email to my department after finding a mislaid flash drive last week.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ellen, Watts
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2010 4:53 PM
To: BioChem/Molbio
Subject: Flash Drive

I found a Flash/USB memory stick in the Storm Scanner on the 2nd floor. I'm sure someone is missing it/their data. It's safe; you just have to show up and claim it.

-----End Message-----

Moments after the mail went out, my boss walks into the lab and asks me and coworker if either of us is missing a flash drive.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Skin Color

Left to right: plantains, purple bananas, bananitos or apple bananas, and Cavendish bananas.

I don't like black skinned bananas. I also don't like when they have black spots. I don't really like bright yellow skinned bananas either. I prefer my Cavendish bananas a little green. I especially like the little purple bananas that are common to South Florida except that they take forever to ripen. I like the little yellow apple bananas too but not the huge green plantains. They're only good for frying.

I just think that black skinned bananas are too sweet and they're usually brown and mooshy on the inside and I find that unpalatable. I also think they're lazy. They just lie around in my kitchen all day. I never see them do anything at the supermarket either.

I discriminate against bananas. You can call me a horrible person: that's fine. It's certainly true. I will defend myself by saying that even though I won't buy black or spotty bananas, when bananas I've purchased reach that stage I'll check to see if they're overripe before discarding them. See? I give some bananas a chance.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Pants

Over breakfast, a friend tells me about a date she'd been on the night before.

My friend drives to South Beach and meet a guy on Lincoln by the sushi restaurant he's selected. He's nice enough and tells my friend about his work at National Geographic magazine as a staff photographer. After the first bottle of Saki he begins to slur his words. He seems overly interested in going back to his place. He baits the hook with a hot tub. He recommends she go au naturale when she protests that she is sans appropriate swimwear.

She suggests they stop at a bar on South point for a few more drinks before wrapping up their date. The bar she takes him to is my place of employment. We've known eachother for years. We used to tend bar together at the country club when I first moved to Miami. My girlfriend gives me 'the sign'. Her companion orders two shots of vodka. I nod and within seconds I place the two shot glasses on the counter. She takes one and welcomes the sensation of ice water in her mouth, knowing that he's enjoying an equal volume of cheap vodka. He slides his credit card across the bar and she turns to me and winks with a sly smile. They consume four more shots in such a fashion.

He's so drunk that he can barely speak. He gurgles something about his place and a hot tub. She tells him that while they're right on the beach that they should go for a swim in the ocean. He makes noises of protest. She assures him that since the moon is full that it will be great, very romantic, erotic even.

They arrive at the beach after a short walk. He begins to disrobe and turns to her. She stands in awe as he inquires why she isn't stripping. She asks him if he would test the water to see if it's cold. He assures her that she can stick my feet in to test it. She tells him that sometimes water is warm on top and cold underneath. In his one valiant gesture since assuming that her body is included with purchase of one dinner, he bounds off into the ocean. She grabs his pants and inserts the contents of his pockets into his sneakers. She proceeds to her car and abandons him sans pants on the beach, several blocks from his hot tub.

He calls the next day and much to her surprise he asks her on another date. Suspicious, she apologizes and tells him that she is happy to return his pants. He insists that he's genuinely intrigued; he's never met a girl like her before.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Future Veterinarian

I sat next to a little kid once on the plane. I presented him with this drawing of a dog. He made a few modifications of his own.

He proudly proclaimed, "I like poop... and doodoo."

Thursday, April 29, 2010


A man offered me a pamphlet as I disembarked my train this morning. The glossy paper folded out into a colorful display of angels and devils accompanying the image a wizened man imploring that I attend a particular church in order to save my soul.

I handed the pamphlet back to the man and told him, "I understand what you're trying to do and I've read your pamphlet. I'm not interested."

"We're trying to save your soul. Don't you want that?" He looks puzzled. "Have you heard the word of Jesus Christ our Savior?" he continues. I nod and note that I have read the entire bible.

"How could you turn your back on His word?" he implores. I ask him how he knows the bible is the word of god but the koran isn't.

"Muhammed was a child molester" he fires back with renewed fervor. I remind him that Abraham was a genocidal maniac [according to Leviticus 18].

"That's offensive," he whines. I suppress my urge to laugh. I'm sure I'll see him tomorrow handing out his pamphlets.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Don't Forget

All wrapped up in tissue paper,
A chocolate confection begins our caper.

I don't want to see that thing you made.
I don't care if it's fudge or lemonade.

I hope you'll do us all a favor
Please don't save these things for later.

They're not as nice as you might think
Even after soaking in the drink.

Please treat your creations as you ought to.
With a dose of rushing water.

If you drop something on the seat,
I hope you'll wipe it nice and neat.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FormSpring: In Memoriam

Are you single?

Yes. Sort of. Not really. What was the question again?

How good in bed are you? And how tall?

I'll raise your standards. 5'8" or so.

Are you more naughty or nice?

I'm actually really nice. I can be moody but I'm a big softy. In the bedroom, however, I'm naughty.

What's the most memorable pickup line someone has tried on you and what was the outcome?

"Pronoun verb preposition verb pronoun adjective noun adjective." I laughed and decided he was smart enough and had a good enough sense of humor for me not to throw my drink on him and walk away.

Do you put out on the first date?


How does this sweater look on me?


When will you show your face on twitter?

Why would I go and ruin a good thing?

Cats, dogs, birds, or boys? Favorite pets?

Each creature has it's own personality and set of requirements. I'm in favor of critters that are both affectionate and self-sufficient. I'm also a fan of big fuzzy butts and animals that are dumber than I am.

What's your favorite sexual position?

You're really asking me to pick just one?

What do you plan to be when you finish all your schoolin'?

Like *I* know. Sheesh...

How big is your rack?

C cups... they're lovely. You will never see them.

Do you really masturbate that much?

I have the sex drive of a teenage boy. Draw your own conclusions.

Would you sleep with Derek? He adores you.

I'm not available.

You are very open and overt on Twitter. Why? My theory is that you're chasing attention in order to promote your writing (on your blog, which I really enjoy). Except I just noticed you've taken your blog link off your Twitter page. So never mind.

My twitter persona is a real part of my personality. My blog is another. I'm not one dimensional. If you want to know me better that's my blog's telos. I love when people read my blog and then discuss it with me. It's a way for me to grow. I'm not sure what you mean by "promote" but I'm not in it for anything but personal development and healthy venting.

What does "I am not available" mean? You said you're single.

The reasons why are personal and I won't discuss them here.

"I'll raise your standards" What does that mean?

It means after me you'll expect every girl you sleep with to punch you in the face if you cum before she does.

What is your heart's desire?

I'll answer that question if you can be more specific.

What makes you different? Just kidding! Just kidding!! Real question: Will you make me cupcakes for my birthday? :D

Yes. When, where, vanilla or chocolate?

Are you a frigid bitch?

Do you have frostbite on your dick?

What aspect of Firefly appeals the most to you?

Whedon is really creative and writes great stories and populates them with relatable characters. I find the series very relatable. I can identify with each character at some point in the series. I also dig action and adventure.

Do you do anal?

No one has ever asked. You'll have to take a look at my strap on so we can be sure it isn't too big for your poop chute. I wouldn't want t hurt your butthole.

Is your dildo your boyfriend?

That's not a bad idea.

What do I have to do to get you to follow me ;-)?

It varies on a case by case basis.

Whats your favorite style of music?

I prefer musak.

How many times have you fucked @aurora00?

Aurora00 and I don't "fuck". We make love.

Will you follow me if I promise to go down on you every day? And morning? And night?

That's a tempting offer. Did you submit an application? You know I don't have a face, right?

Do you like white boys?

As long as they're not polkadotty... freckles and moles are acceptable.

Mail me a pair of your used underwear?

Sure, I don't wear them anymore, my sparring parter stretches them out and leaves skidmarks in them.

How many times have you and Derek slept together?

Should I include anal in my tally?


I guess we never actually did any sleeping.

How do you keep your great sense of humor?

I'm flattered that you think it's great. I'm pretty sure it's a defense mechanism. It'll go away if I keep using the ointment.

Do the creepy sexual Formspring questions, and likely @s and DMs, ever get you down?

Not yet. At some point I'm sure one will bug me but until then I like the attention. Twitter is definitely a unique subset of the population which so far has brought me great pleasure.

When's the last time you had a really good sandwich?

Last night I made myself a grilled mozzarella with tomato on some flax, quinoa, rice, oat bread that I made in the bread machine my brother got me for Christmas BUT the last really good sandwich I had was before I found out I had celiac disease. It was a flying fish sandwich that I had in March 2004 in Barbados at a restaurant called the Treehouse.

Have you ever been a part of, or are you open to being part of, a threesome or more?

The only reason the flying fish sandwich in Barbados was better than the erm... other sandwich is because someone always gets left out.

What do you want for Christmas this year?

I'm an atheist and don't celebrate Christmas.

So if I were to give you a gift over the holidays you would refuse it?

I give my friends gifts all the time for all sorts of reasons. I wouldn't insult a friend for thinking of me. In fact, I might kiss you on the mouth. I have a rare Peruvian lip fungus. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

IF you are an atheist explain the fact that Jesus could walk on water... Do you think there was just a rock just beneath the water that he was stepping on. Cause i did that the other day and everyone was like holy fuck you must be the mesiah and I was like no no guys there's a rock I'm walking on.

Jesus' water walk is a fact? The day someone demonstrates to me that the bible is a reliable historical reference I'll paint my asscheeks blue, stick a daffodil between them and call it "Josephus resurgent". Wait... is "rock" really a euphemism for "third leg"?

Are you really a pedo, cuz u never show yer face?

I dislike children. They're better at getting attention than I am. Also, they never remember the safe word.

Given rock as a euphamism for third leg, and third leg meaning cock, do you like to suck on rocks?

Why would I suck on rocks when I can just give a dude a blowjob?

Two Parter: Which cities/countries you've been to outside of the US? Name 5 cities/countries where you would like to live. (<-Aware that's a statement, not a question. Don't be a dick.)

I can't believe you'd assert that I'd be a dick to anyone... ..... OK, joke's done. I'll give my top 5 places outside the USA: Dublin, Ireland; Kowloon, China; Cairns, Australia; Antigua, Guatemala; Murano, Italy; Rougemont, Switzerland. For cities I've never lived in: I'd love to spend a stint in Portland; Chicago; Vancouver; London; Dublin.

I've had two different girls pass out mid-orgasm. I've always wondered if it was an elaborate fake to boost my already colossal ego. Know anything about whether pass-out Os are a thing?

Quit bragging.

lies. lies. lies.


Are you a Conservative?

I assume you mean the coloquial sense of political view as I write. I'm fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Really, I could fairly call myself a Barry Goldwater republican. This is a long answer question. I'll leave it at that for the sake of the average attention span.

Can you take a picture of your ass that I can jerk off to? The bruise is a turn off.

There are starving children in Africa who would love to have a bruise like that.

What are your plans for the new year?

I'm chipping in to rent a house with some buddies. We're also renting a keg or 2 and at midnight I'll get to kiss someone special on the mouth with tongue. If you know who you are and want to remember the experience, you should let me know *before* I add rohypnol to your beer.

Are u kissing @aurora00 or @tracyvanhorne or @LisaCanDrive at midnight? Can I have them after ur done kissing?

Yes, yes, yes. No, definitely not. I have plans for those three incapacitated girls.

Who is your favorite author? Which work?

For literature, it's Shakespeare. Hands down. He's a god, totally ahead of his time, really got human nature, etc. Hamlet. It might not even be fair to compare him to the rest of the writing world. For non-fiction it's a tough call between Einstein's Relativity and Darwin's Origin of Species. Although both read like word problems, each was perfectly suited to teach us how science integrates into society. Both were tipping points for scientific revolutions are still indispensable.

Would you cheat on your boyfriend with @itsderekhuff ?


Does every one in Miami look like they do on CSI Miami? LOL

Miamian hookers don't have nearly the fashion sense that their CSI Miami counterparts do. Otherwise... yes. Totally.

What do you look for in a boyfriend?

All of the requisite organs for viability (spleen, second kidney/testicle, and appendix optional), a complete skeleton, including a mandible and a good sense of humor.

Are you a celebrity enjoying anonmnity(sic) online?

What gave me away? Was it the accent? Or was it the fact that there are no famous scientists in the United States of America except for Jim Watson or Craig Venter... who [sadly] are hardly celebrities.

I fucked your boyfriend.

Yeah, me too. Great, isn't he?

Now that Derek is dead will you post your boobs?

Shit. Did I miss the funeral? I was going to flash whomever delivers the eulogy.

You know a lot of big words for a girl. What's up with that? It kind of freaks me out

I'm just trying to compensate for my face.

There you go with the big words again. Anyways, is it true you're in love with El Beard?

El Beard did not return my affections. I'm now deeply in love with the Rapist 'Stache and his extended-cab truck.


Sure, first let me get my foot out of @itsDerekHuff 's ass.

you must love when a guy pulls his cock out of your pussy then tells you to swallow ,you just seem to me like you love to swallow cum (sic)

Isn't the internet great!

ur boy friend couldn't get it up

I would recommend building your vocabulary.

Which do you prefer, puppies or kittens?

ohai i <3 ALL baby animalz! kthxbai (Thank you for your submission)

do you like to swallow cum or not

I think you're looking for Lil' Kim's formspring. This is not Lil' Kim's formspring page.

Have you ever kicked a guy in the junk so hard that he cried?

Actually, yeah. My pastor's son when we were in 8th grade and my Brazilian jiu jitsu instructor a few months ago. Oh, and my older brother, but that does't count. Black belt nuts feel different than regular nuts, in case you were wondering.

How frequently do you get hit on (in any kind of serious way) by strangers?
I'm not really sure what you mean by "in any kind of serious way" but I'll assume you mean beyond whistling/cat-calls and honking. About once a week a guy will ask for my number. Once every other month or so a guy will give me his number. 2-3 times a week a dude will try to engage me in conversation.

how do you mean france, america and the pope are responsible for haiti?

If you're referring to my tweet yesterday ( the incessant intervention by the US & France and the power vacuum created by puppet governments they installed in Haiti (not to mention the resentment this inspired) empowered the Duvalier presidency turned autocracy. This was legitimized internationally by papal emissaries (who also accepted vast sums of money that the Duvaliers had stolen from their already impoverished citizens).

I don't aspouse that France, the US, or the Vatican can create earthquakes but rather that raping the Haitian countryside resulted in the lack of infrastructure that reigned destruction in the wake of a natural disaster. I know it doesn't help the situation to assign blame but it seems we're unable to learn from history. Afghanistan, Iraq and countless other nations may follow similar paths.

You are an ignornt heffer.

... ... Yes, I am an ignorant heifer at times.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Oh gosh I love ice cream. I dig coconut almond fudge chip and rocky road. I miss cookies and cream and chocolate chip cookie dough but can't eat them anymore since I developed a gluten allergy.

When was the last time you peed or pooped in your pants?

The last time I dropped in my drawers was about 25 years ago. I pee myself in crisis situations so that I can regroup more effectively.

If you were a condiment, what condiment would you be?


How dare you have an opinion on anything! You need to shut up and just be pretty!

Seriously though, when can we date?

I dare! I'm not available at the moment but if that changes, Twitter will be among the first to know... after me and what's-his-name.

Is there anyone you've met on Twitter that you honestly care for? Anyone that means a lot to you, even though you've never met other than 140 characters (or an email or something) at a time?

There are a handfull of rocking souls that I dig especially despite never having met them. There a lot more that routinely enrich my days. We only ever really know people's minds. The outside of people has a way of interfering sometimes. The anonymnity of the net can keep that from happening if we let it. Related: can you dishonestly care for someone?

Sure, you can be totally fake in how you act towards someone. Look at a lot of these internet assholes; @benmarvin @itsderekhuff @alcoholicman.

It is all fake. Don't you believe in the fakeness of Twitter/Social media?

I guess it's a semantic issue. For me the word "care" is redundant when placed with words like "honest". Logically it might follow that "dishonestly caring for someone" would be an internally inconsistent statement... like "living dead". Of course that never stopped Hollywood.

There's definitely a lot of pretending that goes on in the interweb. That's fine. It often says more about a person than their 'real' personality ever could.

Does your significant other read your formspring, blog, or follow your tweets?

I dunno. I'd have to ask.

So no defense of said people. That makes a valid point.

It doesn't need defending. People just want to be loved (of this I am sure). We do weird things to get love (and sometimes mistaking attention for love). I think people pretend to be something else because don't think who they really are is 'loveable'. Sometimes they're right, but usually they're not.

I love how people are hating on you with their questions. Do you think that there will one day be a unit of measurement, later necessitating a tool to indicate douchebagginess levels in folks submitting to your formspring/DM/mighty power? Subquestion: will you use said tool's powers for good or evil?

The questions people ask don't reflect on me, but how I respond does... As for a douchiess measure? I really hope so. It would be great if it was like the Pinnochio nose. Peer pressure works for most people.

I like to think I use all of my powers for good but I'm not perfect and can/do make mistakes. Some of them hurt people.

got room for two?

Two what? Where?

What opinion do you hold of superhero comics characters? Are they merely escapist,social commentary or an original American style mythology?

I think that almost all science fiction is satire. The analogy to mythology is a valid one because the mythologies of each culture seek to ironize their societies by comparrison. Plus, I really dig Dragon*Con because I get to dress up as Motoko Kusanagi.

why do you hate fat people?

I don't hate fat people. I hate feeling uncomfortable telling my overweight friends that I'm worried about them.

They're often not as healthy and as happy as they could be if they addressed the physical and/or emotional reasons behind their weight problems. I hate seeing them suffer at their own self defeating behavior.

Why won't you go out on a date with me?

I don't want to.

Why do my tweets make you wet, by the way?

It isn't your tweets, per se. You spit when you talk. It's sort of gross, brah.

I love you. - Derek

I lurve you too, brah. Just work on the spitting thing. Did you know that my FormSpring timestamps submissions? Yeah. It does.

is this some sort of game?


Is this some kind of bust?

Somebody already asked about my rack. See above.

What do you want for Valentine's Day? Can I give you my cock?

I'd rather you give me some expensive jewelry and some privacy so I can flush it down the toilet. By "it", I mean "your cock".

Which is your favorite color and why?

My favorite color is green. I wish I knew why. I'm particularly fond of peacock green/blue, kelly green and emerald green.

were you born with celiac disease? wats it like?

No. I developed it about four years ago. It's inconvenient but manageable.

Be my mistress.


Why not?


If you are trying to be Kusanagi, does that mean you can turn invisible once you go topless?

It's my face that people can't see, silly.

Does it frighten you that a few of your questioners are almost certainly violent rapists? Except that godlike El Beard, of course.

I'm surprised that so few appreciate the majesty of El Beard. Also, Ralph Monsterface Moustachio, otherwise known as Mister Moustachio is another fantastic facial follicular favorite. As for violent rapists... yes, this has been cause for concern. It keeps me motivated to secure my black belt in karate.

You've just unwittingly joined a clut. How deep does your devotion run and what recent trauma in your life inspired this drastic course of action?

What the hell is a "clut"?

Cult. Yep.

I would prefer that FormSpring submissions be phrased as questions even though I have responded to some statements. Complete sentences are appreciated.

Curb your tongue, wench. Just answer the question.

What did I just say? (rhetorical question and example of preferred FormSpring submission)

What's your shoe size? Stilettos, Wedges or Platforms?

I wear size 8.5 or 9 depending on the shoe. I prefer a sculpted heel, not necessarily stiletto. I have a special fondness for red patent leather.

FormSpring has no authority here. I'm running shit now.

Shit indeed.

Can you give an example of a satire in sci-fi?

There are so many good ones but I'll use Independence Day: it takes the threat of extermination by extra-terrestrials (plausibly a metaphor for God and armageddon... ironic in itself) for humans to stop fighting and cooperate using language (computer programming and Morse code) as our most powerful tool. Ironically, I visit holocaust on E. coli every time I do an experiment at the lab. Maybe someday they'll figure out a way to kill me... oh wait, they already can.

Can you give an example of a satire in sci-fi? Solaris, 1961.

Umm... I don't understand the question.

why dont u stop being a smarty pants and act like a regular girl?

You would do well to disabuse yourself of the tired old notion that on average, men are smarter than women.

Do smarty-pants come in multiple fabrics and colors?

So far as I know they come in a wide range of pastel colors but are constructed exclusively from those little disc shaped candies and their wrappers which doesn't seem smart to me at all.

why do u say women are smarter then men?

I never said that women are smarter than men.

Why you hating on hookers?

My favorite neighborhood hooker, Hennesey (probably not her real name) is really cool. She's sharper than a lot of people I've met in Miami. She and I have a running joke about how it's easy to make a woman look trashy and men are willing to pay lots of money for it. She really embodies how men allow themselves to be exploited so easily by women.

What's the one thing in life that could make you truly happy?

I can't say for sure but it's somewhere between self-actualization, hedonism and personal enrichment.

Monday, April 26, 2010


A friend read my post about 'stripper shoes' and asked me why I made the leap from heels to stripper. Stilettos represent the height (no pun intended) of femininity. The spiky heel represents a dominance that women have over men resulting purely from their sexuality.

Research has revealed that wearing a high-heeled shoe causes a woman to arch her back, thrusting her ass and breasts outward. Please note that foot-binding has the same effect on posture. Also, foot-binding and heeled shoes cause a woman to walk with a wiggle that accentuates her waist. The waist to hip ratio is unconsciously calculated by the male mind to a measure of fertility and hence her value as a mate in the most primal sense.

Strippers and prostitutes use platform heels and other tools to accentuate and then exploit natural properties of their bodies in order to exploit their customers. I think that sex workers exploit their bodies the same way that an athlete might whether it's Michael Phelps or Tiger Woods. Why prostitution is illegal but mail-order brides are not is a cultural oddity stemming from religious taboos. We all exploit some part of ourselves to survive in this society.

Here I exploited the Abrahamic attitudes toward sexuality in order to satirize cultural mores. I suppose the real joke is that my friends who are strippers and prostitutes are smart enough to carry practical shoes with them so they won't be stuck at a bus stop at 7AM in 6 inch heels.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Stripper Shoes

Even if you're short, stripper shoes are stripper shoes. I don't care if Louis Vuitton made them himself and they cost you $1 million bucks. If you decide to wear 6" heels I will probably wonder if you're a pro.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Just before the break of day,
At the crack of dawn
Is when you choose to free your dog
So he'll befoul my lawn.

He runs to greet my stately oak
Which suits him to a tee.
He squats before it's scaly trunk
Where he begins to pee.

I hope it pleases you to know
I'm searching very hard
To find an angry rhino
To fertilize your yard.

Amy's perspective

It isn't working out and it has become evident to everyone including her. Still, she can't seem to shake this guy.

I inquire as to how the break-up she had planned for the weekend went. "He freaked out and showed up at my house. I was one step away from calling the cops." Disturbed, I advised her to just part ways and get on with her life. She agreed but defended, "It's just a really shitty situation every time I try to break it off."

I clenched my jaw in frustration. "Of course it's a 'shitty situation'. Did you expect some sort of parade with floats and a marching band?"

She isn't ruining his life; he will get over her someday. If she doesn't break up quickly and honestly, she's cheating both of them. It's going to be ugly, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Brown Paper Bag

Upon entering the house we noted that the party atmosphere was already well developed; drunken college students lined the warm, dimly lit halls. An energetic young man with a paper bag approached the three of us and inquired if we had seen any "dog poo". He whispers the forbidden words in an exaggerated gesture of etiquette. He explained that he wanted to leave the bag on a neighbors doorstep after lighting it on fire. This is a classic scenario that we all appreciated and my friends and I chuckled at the thought.

He lamented that the recent snowfall had obscured all of the available feces and wanted to know if we had passed any fresh deposits on our way to the party. I said "no" and my friend recommended that he look at the house across the street where she had noticed a dog squatting. The boy barely paused to thank us before rocketing out the front door.

We all got beer to drink and began to mingle with other attendees when the young man returned. This time his request was different, "Would you poop in this bag?" We laughed and said no.

Fast forward 6 beers.

"Would you poop in this bag?" I started to say "no" when much to my surprise one of my girlfriends said "give me that!" and snatched the bag from the young man's hand. She grabbed my sleeve and dragged me to the basement bathroom. I stood watch with a sense of awe and admiration for my friend. After about fifteen minutes she emerged from the bathroom, hair and make-up fresh, and a paper bag with a noticeable weight in the bottom.

I'm not sure what happened to that bag but I can assure you she is something else.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Men who know better don't tell a woman her foul moods must be inspired by pre-menstrual syndrome or PMS. The reasons aren't as obvious as one might think. I once told my father that if he had abdominal cramps, a headache, couldn't fit into his pants and was bleeding from his pee-hole that he'd be irritable too.

This isn't quite fair and circumvents a real understanding of why attributing disagreements to hormones is upsetting. While physical discomfort can shorten one's patience the fact remains: whether the source of the upset is real or perceived the emotional response is definitely real [or you wouldn't be trying to explain it away]. It's important to a woman that her partner treats her emotions with care and respect. Attributing her emotions to PMS means that you've made a dismissive personal attack instead of addressing the problem.

In a society where men are often socialized not to acknowledge their emotions, it might seem easier to tell your partner why she shouldn't acknowledge them either. You may come to realize that you've actually made things more difficult when she gets upset that you've invalidated her feelings and indeed a part of her. Now you're fighting about that instead of the 'real' issue. Seriously, this could happen:

Chick: Ow, you stepped on my foot.
Dude: I didn't step on it that hard. You're just sensitive because it's 'that time of month.'
Chick: *kicks dude in the nuts*
Dude: HRk!
Chick: I didn't kick you in the nuts that hard. You're just sensitive because you masturbate so much. Besides, now you've hurt both of my feet.

Anyways, happy relationship advice day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gluten-free Bread

Little dish didn't stand a chance.
If I'd left it on the kitchen counter
To be devoured by sugar ants.

I left it in the refrigerator,
I didn't want it right now
I was saving it for later.

I came by to retrieve my delight,
But someone had absconded
With my treat in the night!

The joke's on the thief
They'll soon learn
My cooking tastes like queef.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

David's Story

He can't live without her, he can't move on, he's looking for someone new, he can't find anyone, no one wants him. I ask if he's considered taking a break. "Why?" he asks.

I watch the girls he approaches do a prompt polite about-face. I understand why and I fear he'll end up with another woman who'll keep him around for recreational emotional torture meant for a man from her past.

He seems completely willing to embrace deception in order to get something he wants. His obviously fake 'come-on' personality marks him as a cheater and heart breaker searching for his next victim.

His ex dumped him. As if gushing about her to anyone who will listen wasn't bad enough (at least when he does he's being honest), he seems sure that women just don't like him. In advertising his insecurity he's revealing the truth: he hates himself.

Why, indeed.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I read an acquaintance's post about his semi-anonymous blog. He details how someone found his works and revealed a post that would certainly be inflammatory to someone close to him. I don't know the context or what the motivation for this particular act was but it stirred real fear in me in addition to a natural sense of injustice.

I feel for him and resent the apparent bad behavior of his associate. I don't know if I could forgive someone for doing this sort of thing without understanding where they came from; of course if we understood each other, I doubt it could happen as it did to my friend.

I've done these sorts of things myself only to feel shitty about it later. I'd like to take the opportunity to apologize to everyone: the people I love and the people I could stand to be without. I'm sorry for hurting you.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Bicycle Thief

I'll get that guy who took your bike
And if I don't we'll find a new one you like
More than the last one, shiny and new
It'll have retractible wings and be royal blue.
There'll be a built in jacuzzi with a mini bar
You might like it more than some fancy old car.
We'll ride it to the zoo or maybe a museum
And I'll get that guy if I ever see him.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Errol's Perspective

My friend sits a across the table at an establishment that we both frequent. He explains to me that he has no problem with homosexuals yet he doesn't like how they "throw their sexuality in [his] face." He shifts uncomfortably in his seat and as his face reddens he adds that "lesbians don't do that, just gay men."

He pauses, I realize he's concerned that I'm judging him for his perspective on unwanted suitors. I take a pause of my own and remind him that straight men make passes at me all the time. I add that overt displays of sexual prowess and interest are a male quality and not a characteristic unique to gay men.

The flush in his face spreads to his chest. His voice bolder now, a sign of embarrassment as he realizes that he may be one of the men who objectifies me, "they shouldn't do that."