lotusbiosm: (Default)
Long time, no post, I know
A couple of my friends have asked for people to pitch their own goods - music, books, crafts, services, etc. I'm doing the same, but I'll open it up a bit. Tell me about the stuff you make, the stuff your Mom makes, the stuff your favorite little shop down the street sells. Who are your favorite artisans, small business and service providers? I'll compile a list to share with you all on the Monday after Thanksgiving, since you know I won't be waking up early on Black Friday. Feel free to promote your own goods and services, as well as those of friends/family or even strangers who just happen to do work you think is cool (in other words, feel free to link to your own etsy store or to the webpage of your favorite small batch soap maker or local yarn store or photographer or whatever).
lotusbiosm: (Default)
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Assuming that said brutal murder was not indicative of the crime rate in the neighborhood (which, if it were "perfect" it wouldn't be), yes.
I live in DC. Good real estate is expensive. You bet I'd be all over some rent-free action!
Of course, I'd also probably smudge it with sage and other purifying herbs before moving in, just to be safe.
lotusbiosm: (Default)
It's traditional, for a loose definition of traditional, for me to post a Christmas wish list. And I know Christmas is in a week, but better late than never, right?

Most of this is on my amazon wishlist, though not all of it. If you know my real name, you can search for it that way.

So, I'd like (not in any particular order)
  • iPod touch
  • iPad
  • digital camera (I covet this one, but it's way more than what I really need)


Workout stuff:
lotusbiosm: (Default)
 I must say, that for all the things about my job that suck (low hours, cranky manager, lack of sick/vacation leave and insurance, etc), there is something great about getting to spend 1.5 hours total walking around outside on a gorgeous day like today, and talking about art, architecture and history with people from all over the world.
lotusbiosm: (Default)
So, my super-awesome job that I had ended in September, which is sad.

K & N got married in September, which is wonderful. It was a beautiful wedding and even though I cried it wasn't nearly as much as I thought I would and I finally got to make a toast for their wedding.

I started a new job that is less than ideal but is at least better than sitting at home all day. The problem is that it's a) not enough hours b) not enough money and c) not intellectually challenging/stimulating enough.

But, if you are in the DC Metro area and know of anyplace that is hiring that might hire me, please let me know. My strengths are in my organizational and communication skills. I'm a fantastic public speaker, I'm great on the phone, I'm a darn good writer, and I can do all of these things with diverse audiences. I also actually like cataloging, filing and organizing things. Additionally, I'm pretty good at problem-oriented research (either on the Internet or in books), meaning that I'm good at finding the answers to specific questions. I'm a creative problem-solver. And I'm a fast learner, so it's generally pretty easy to train me up fast.
My BA is in Comparative Cultures, and my MA is in Museum Studies. I have a pretty good grasp of US and world history and basic natural sciences, and most standard software that's used in offices.
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One of the things that drives me nuts is when I'm talking about employment searches, and I tell someone what my MA is in, and they suggest that I should work at the Smithsonian.
Really? You think that someone who moved to DC to get a degree in Museum Studies wouldn't have thought of working for the Smithsonian? I know that people mean well, but it's just so f*cking obvious. And not that easy. The Smithsonian isn't always hiring, and frequently when they are, I'm not qualified (I don't have a PhD in a subject area, which means I won't be hired as a curator, and my background's not art history, which rules out pretty much all the art museums).
lotusbiosm: (Default)
stolen from [livejournal.com profile] eredien

We're going to start by saying that this list? Pisses me off. For several reasons. One, the assumption that all of "Upstate NY" is the same, just because it's north of NYC. Yeah, not so much. E.g: where I grew up (in the middle), carbonated beverages such as colas and root beer are referred to as "soda." Where I went to college (in the SW of the state), they're "pop."
Also, I'm not a hick. I never have been. I am perhaps related to a few, and I think the argument could be made that some of the people I went to school with were, but I'm not.
But anyway, the list in question, bold items for things that were true, and my comments in italics.

Read more... )
lotusbiosm: (Default)
In humans, shyness (also called diffidence) is a social psychology term used to describe the feeling of apprehension, lack of confidence, or awkwardness experienced when a person is in proximity to, approaching, or being approached by other people, especially in new situations or with unfamiliar people. Shyness may come from genetic traits, the environment in which a person is raised, or a combination of both. Some people with shyness have social anxiety problems or social phobia. But many people with shyness do not have these problems. Shyness may merely be a personality trait or can occur at certain stages of development in children1

So, yeah. I am sick and tired of people telling me that I'm not shy because I'm a tour guide, or because I speak a lot in class, or whatever reason they have that they think means I'm not shy. I am. Yeah, I can stand in front of a room of people and talk to them. Whatever. But the thought of going to a bar and talking to strangers ratchets my anxiety meter up to about a 9 (if a 10 is "panic attack" and 1 is perfectly chill and mellow). The people who question my shyness most frequently are people who've only ever seen me in situations where I'm comfortable, people who don't know me very well, and while I understand it, I get frustrated when people act like they know me better than I know myself and question my self-definition. It's even more frustrating when it's someone who should know me well enough to know that it's true (J, for example) but argues with me anyway.

Yes, I'm a tour guide, and I'm good at it. Because I know what I'm doing and I know what role I'm playing, and there's very little emotionally at risk. I hope they like me, but I'm not forming a relationship with those people, they're with me for whatever the length of time the tour is, and hopefully they laugh at my jokes and learn something interesting or useful in the time we spend together. But then they leave and I get a new batch. And if I had them for, say, a whole school year, I'd get to know them better, but that's not the case. I'm great in front of a group. But one-on-one? I get scared.

My father, who is also shy (if you ask my mother, at least), was a teacher for over 30 years and also the president of his union. People think that shyness means an inability to speak at all in public, an inability to communicate, an unwillingness to be the center of attention. But it doesn't, necessarily. Yes, it does for some people, but not always. And people frequently mistake the behavior of shy people for unfriendliness, aloofness, disinterest.

And for me, at least, I want desperately to be involved in a lot of social situations. I want people to like me, I want to be invited to the bar or the movies or wherever my coworkers are going, I want it understood that I'm included. But I may not seem friendly or engaged because I'm holding back, observing, trying to figure out how to get involved. And also, keep in mind my nearly-paralyzing fear of failure, which makes it even harder to jump in with both feet, because what if they don't like me?

So, yeah. Tell me I'm not shy when you see me walking alone down the corridors of the Capitol instead of going out onto the West Terrace to see the concert, because it's noisy and there are people and I don't want to be alone out there in the crowd.2 Tell me I'm not shy when I can ask a coworker for a ride instead of accepting that I'll just have to walk 20 minutes home in the middle of the night when I take the metro. Tell me I'm not shy when I want nothing more than to participate in the conversation in the locker room but go sit on the couch with my book instead because I'm afraid I'm not welcome.

This, btw, is also why I have never and will never, as far as I can forsee, ever be the one to make the first move in a relationship. Maybe a little bit of flirtation, but that's all I've got. And flirting with people I'm not interested in is much easier and occasionally more fun.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shy

2. I should point out that one of the worst things for me is being out someplace crowded and social (a bar, the Mall on Independence Day, a shopping mall, etc) when I'm alone. I feel so overwhelmingly isolated and lonely that all I want is to finish my errand and go back home ASAP, where it's safe. People who can go to bars by themselves confuse me to no end, because to see people socialize and not actually be socializing? It's torment. And then, there's the anxiety that someone there might actually try to start talking to me, and I don't know why. I stop people on the street who look lost, and I'll make small talk with them as I escort them to their destination, but talking to a stranger just to talk to them is something I cannot grok.

om nom nom

May. 21st, 2010 07:04 pm
lotusbiosm: (Default)
So, there is a misapprehension out there that I can't cook. This is false. I frequently don't cook, and certainly not exciting things, but I can, and I'm actually pretty decent at it. I often don't cook because I'm lazy and I hate having to do dishes, but I'm getting much better at one-pot meals. The kitchen in Evieland (my first apartment) was tiny and cramped. The kitchen at Nerds R Us (where I lived with Dex and Tim) was basically Dex's domain, and I always felt vaguely intimidated under Dex's watchful eye (which isn't her fault).

Anyway, I've been spending more money than I ought to on food, and so today I went to the grocery store and bought lots of yummy things. And then I packed tomorrow's food:

Breakfast: banana, yogurt

Lunch: spinach, tomato and cucumber salad with oil and vinegar dressing (still in bottle b/c I don't have a smaller container for it)
The nummy rice dish I made tonight1
one Ghiradelli dark chocolate and mint square

Snack: string cheese, cherries

And now I'm almost excited to go to work tomorrow because I have good food to eat.

1. Here's the main course of lunch: Royal Blend Rice, cooked according to package instructions, only replacing half the water with chicken broth (adds more flavor). I added sliced mixed peppers (from frozen) to the rice.
While the rice was cooking, I sautéed frozen shrimp with butter, garlic and olive oil, then added a can of clams (including the juice) and some lemon juice and let it all heat through (there were some timing issues b/c the can opener wasn't where I thought it was). When the rice was done, I added the shrimp and clams and the liquid, stirred it all up to let the rice soak up the liquid, and tasted some. And I am very very pleased with the results.


Apr. 3rd, 2010 08:59 pm
lotusbiosm: (Default)
OK, so, I spent the day with my parents today, as they're visiting. I think that the confluence of Easter with the Cherry Blossom Festival is a perfect storm of tourism, and it's kind of insane. But anyway. When I got on the train to go home, I was astonished at how many people were on the train, as I live on the green line, which isn't usually super-crowded. It was too late for these people to be going to the baseball game, and none of them were dressed in ways that indicated that's where they were heading. We got to L'Enfant Plaza, and I don't think a single person exited the train. This is a big deal, as L'Enfant Plaza is where four lines meet, and it's a major transfer station. You're pretty much guaranteed that a lot of people will be getting off and on there. Well, a lot of people got on. And I was just blown away, because I could not fathom where they could possibly be going. And there were these two women near me who were really taking up more than their fair share of the extremely limited available space. I stepped a little bit closer to the empty room near them, because there was room for at least one more person in that empty space, and I was trying to do what I could. And one of them was being really bitchy about the fact that someone had stepped on her foot (which was clearly an accident), and saying there was no where for her to go. Except for the part where there very clearly was, and so I said, "if you stepped over, there'd be more room" and she snapped at me, saying "I don't want to step over, I don't want to be in a corner" etc, and her companion says "mind your business." Now, I said it as politely and helpfully as I could manage, and I replied "I was just trying to help" again as non-confrontational as I could, and she said "well, you're not helping" and went on about how people don't want to be in a corner. Now, the mildly funny part is that I was standing directly in front of the door that would open next (and also would be the one at my stop), which meant that they were close to it too (and would have been closer if they'd moved) and the companion was going on about how she has anxiety so she's glad the next stop is theirs and both women are kind of indicating that they're going to try to get across the car to exit. Except that they don't need to, and I say, well, you're right by the door, and when we pulled in she was like "oh, it's this door?" and I said, "yes" and then stepped out to let people off (b/c that's what you do when you're in front of the door on such a crowded train). And certainly, I understand anxiety in crowds, everyone who knows me knows that I loathe crowds, especially crowds of people who don't know where they're going and are in my way. And certainly I've been bitchy and passive-aggressive in crowds, but I was like "lady, you don't need to snap".

But then they and almost everyone else got off at the Waterfront Metro station, which made absolutely no sense to me, as no one ever gets off there. And I said like three times "where's everyone going" because I was genuinely curious/confused, and it wasn't until I said to a guy "no, really, I've never seen so many people here in my life" that he said "fireworks." I was already happy I wasn't getting off there- I used to live there and would have not coped well with that many people at that small a station. But I was boggled because it seems like such a terrible idea to have an event there that would draw so many people when there's also a game going on one stop away.

And then I had to close my window because even though it's a gorgeous night I really hate the sound of fireworks. They rank slightly below wind on the list of ordinary things I can't stand, but really, when I'm queen of the world, there will be no fireworks displays, at least not anywhere within my earshot.

But now I'm home, where there are no other people (roommates are out of town), which makes me very happy.
lotusbiosm: (ianto works)
First day went well. Orientation, mostly, lots of filling out of forms and receiving of brochures and learning what different offices do. Lots of the presenters seemed friendly enough, but many of them were very bad presenters. Our orientation binder is the size of a high school textbook.
I have a locker and a radio, so that's fun.
Also got told that basically both people I interviewed with (for two different jobs) really wanted to hire me, which is awesome.
And now I'm pretty much at "fire bad, tree pretty", so I'm gonna try to get some sleep.
lotusbiosm: (Default)
I got pretty flowers!

They're from K, to ask me to be in her wedding. Isn't she sweet?
lotusbiosm: (god bless)
Unconditional Love'--Rev. John T. Crestwell, Jr.

First of all, I have discovered the perfect way to get in sermon time and gym time: listen while at the gym. Average All Souls sermons are about 20 minutes, which is a reasonable amount of time to spend on the treadmill.

Anyway, on to the sermon.

Rev. Crestwell makes the argument that all love is conditional. We love our children because of self-preservation, we do acts of love because they make us feel good inside. Which is a valid argument, I think. My friend Lauren is fond of saying that no act is entirely selfless, that even the most giving and self-sacrificing act usually comes with some sort of reward for the person doing it, even if it's just that good feeling, and I think she's probably right.

Rev. Crestwell also talks about how loving someone in spite of your differences isn't really love, it's tolerance, and that the challenge is to love someone because of your differences. And that we should find in the diversity of the universe at large inspiration to love the diversity of humanity and want to create a community that celebrates that diversity.

There actually wasn't much that I found particularly spiritually uplifting about this sermon, it was mostly a relatively common UU theme: church should be a place where everyone is welcome and we have to work to make that happen. Which I suppose is actually something that we should work on broadening to our other communities. How do we make all communities inclusive, loving and welcoming? It's hard for me, sometimes, when new people show up seeking to join my community, to welcome them as openly and warmly as I should. Not because of race or religion (though sometimes because of politics), but usually just because I don't want to be friends with them personally, which really ought to be irrelevant.
Hey, look at that, something useful did come out of this sermon!
lotusbiosm: (god bless)
And now that things have calmed down a bit (last couple of weeks have been taken up by chaos of helping friends move), here's the first Lenten entry. I'll try to get caught up by the end of the week.

The sermon I listened to was The Purpose of Prayer by Rev. Lyngood (link goes to mp3 of sermon).

I'm going to start by quoting Dawson's Creek, because I'm a dork. There's an episode where Jen (played by Michelle Williams), is talking to her grandmother, who's a devout Christian, and they're talking about prayer, and Jen's questioning if prayer actually changes God. Her Gran's answer is "prayer doesn't change God. It changes me."

So, being a good Unitarian Universalist, my faith has a certain level of scepticism to it. But I am of the opinion that the objective truth of one's faith is less important than the effect that said faith as on a person's life. If being a Christian makes you feed the hungry and visit the lonely and sleep peacefully at night, you should be a Christian. If it makes you start Crusades against the infidels, not so much.

And likewise, while we certainly hope that someone is listening and will grant our petitions, frequently the purpose of prayer is what it does to the pray-er. It can be grounding, meditative, relaxing, calming, etc. Prayers of thanksgiving help cultivate a grateful heart, which makes you see opportunity and blessing everywhere, and generally creates a happier outlook on life. Prayers for friends and family and yourself can help you sort out what it is that you're worried about, where your concerns are. When we feel helpless, prayer gives us something active to do. My grandmother can't get me a job or keep me safe, but she can pray for me, and it makes her feel better to do so. When we feel weak, prayer can make us strong. And does it matter if that strength comes from our own inner resolve or from a higher power? I also find that repetitive prayer can be very calming and soothing. Repeating well-known words over and over helps calm my mind down. I do it when I don't feel well, I do it when I can't sleep. I sing hymns to myself or say the Hail Mary or the Our Father, and it helps. And yeah, a folk song or a poem would probably do the same thing (I've recited "The Walrus and the Carpenter" to myself when I needed a distraction too), but there's something about saying a prayer that's got a little extra kick.

In this sermon, Rev. Lynngood also talks about how UUs often get caught up with not knowing to whom they should pray. There's a joke that UUs pray "to whom it may concern." Which I have actually done. I don't believe that I have the knowledge or wisdom to know for sure which gods do or don't exist or all of their names, and sometimes you just need help from whatever quarter it may come from. If it serves Loki's purpose to help me out of a jam (and said help comes without strings, which with tricksters it generally doesn't), I'm not going to turn it down. There are names I know better, but I've also read too many fairy tales to not suspect that there may be listeners I don't know. Of course, I also function with the belief that ultimately all gods are just different manifestations of the same divine force, so it really doesn't matter what name we call it. One of my favorite invocations is the one Neil Gaiman uses in Blueberry Girl: Ladies of light, ladies of darkness, and ladies of never-you-mind. I will also sometimes add in the one common in Catholic Mass that calls upon the Blessed Virgin and all the saints and angels.

But ultimately, again, I think it matters less who you're praying to and more who and what you're praying for, and what that does to you.


Feb. 17th, 2010 09:16 pm
lotusbiosm: (Default)
I don't normally do Lent, and there really isn't much I feel like giving up, but I think that it's a good opportunity to try to increase my spiritual practice.

So, for Lent I downloaded 40 sermons from All Souls (which tells you how long it's been since I went to church, as I didn't hear any of them in person). The idea is that I'll listen to one per day.

As part of listening to these sermons, I'll be writing responses here. I'll put them behind cuts, but I always write better if there's at least a hypothetical audience. Feel free to comment if you're so inclined.
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I've actually made several important life decisions based on my gut, on an undefinable feeling that something is a good or bad idea, that worked out quite well. And I've made decisions on things like where to apply for jobs based on not wanting to leave my community that I've built, which is an emotional factor. But I think that factoring in "stable support system" into your life plans is a sensible decision, assuming you're not passing up the chance at your dream job just because you'd have to move.

I have dated people based on the fact that I was on the rebound or I needed to feel wanted that turned out to be unwise relationship choices, but hasn't everyone?
lotusbiosm: (Default)
The three highest-grossing opening movie weekends are Spider-Man 3, The Dark Knight, and New Moon. I think it's interesting that that's two comic book movies and a movie about vampires and werewolves. I mean, that's some genre fiction right there.
lotusbiosm: (Default)
1) I would love to be in Yankee Stadium right now.

2) I care less about winning the World Series than I do about beating Pedro Martinez. Fortunately, winning tonight accomplishes both.

3) I never realized how incredibly passive-aggressive baseball can be until tonight. I mean, the taunting fans are one thing, but the stepping out of the batter's box because the pitcher is making you wait too long, the pitching balls close because you think the batter's standing too close to the plate, even just the fact that baseball's a minimal-contact sport (which is part of what I love about it, the lack of violence). Which I think kind of makes me understand why some people like other sports better, because it really is passive-aggression put to sport. I happen to prefer passive-aggression to regular aggression in many cases, both emotionally and intellectually, but still.

4) I don't generally watch the games on TV, because I don't like the announcers, but damn this is some good baseball. Really really good baseball.

5) I do wish Matsui had hit for the cycle. Because that would have been cool. But 6 RBIs off 3 hits is still pretty damn good.

6) Mariano Rivera always looks like he's about to cry or something. But that's OK.

7) My team has celebrated as many championships as I have birthdays. Has yours?

8) Watching a bunch of millionaire adults jump up and down like little kids always brings a big smile to my face. Especially when they're wearing pinstripes.
lotusbiosm: (Default)
I spent the weekend with friends, hanging out and having fun, then woke up Monday morning with a stuffed nose and chills. I spent all day Monday sleeping and watching movies and subsisting on saltines. Today, I feel much better, though I'm still not 100%, but my appetite has returned, which is a very good sign. Tomorrow I'm supposed to be at NMNH, and then Saturday is my roommates' wedding, which I'm in, so hopefully I'll be back at full strength for that (and, more importantly, I hope I don't get them sick).
lotusbiosm: (Default)
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I don't know that I've ever actually up and ended a friendship over it. But I've rejected men over politics, and I've definitely thought less of people once I learned their politics, and stopped working to be friends with them.

I have friends who have different opinions on things like health care. We just don't talk about it. But my really close friends, we agree on pretty much everything political. And I think this is because most of my politics are based on my values, which you kind of have to share to have a working friendship. I can disagree about things like tax policy or exactly what health care reform should look like, but I can't be friends with someone who is anti-choice, or actively homophobic or racist.


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