Fudging Spiders In My Mother Fudging Laundry

I would like to preface today’s anecdote by saying I am not a squeamish person. Any fear of insects and arachnids I may have had as a child were cast aside when I went to my first sleep-away camp as a seven year old and discovered I was much more averse towards the screaming of the other girls than I was towards anything with more legs than me. I became a pint-sized “problem solver,” quietly taking care of any offending creatures in order to get the other campers to shut the hell up.

That being said, I am the kind of person who the phrase “delicate sensibilities” could be applied to in the most literal sense at times – I don’t like loud noises, foods with spongy a mouthfeel, the concept of sewing skin, even if it’s for a healing purpose, or the sensation of something gooey or creepy-crawly on my skin. (But I can bait my own hook with worms or leeches. Go figure.)

In general, I have a neutral relationship with spiders. We have a pact of sorts – stay out of my business/things I stick my body parts in and I don’t kill them. This is primarily because a) I’m kind of lazy and finding something to squish with takes more effort than ignoring the situation, and b) being from Minnesota, I’ll take all the allies against mosquitoes, gnats, and deer flies I can get. As long as I don’t have to listen to someone’s fear response, most spiders can just as well say “by your leave” and be on their way.

That is, until they get into my stuff. You see, I don’t like being surprised, and since I spend most of my life assuming there are not spiders amongst my things, it’s rather unpleasant when I discover one hiding out in my Teavana bag when I pull out one of my canisters for an afternoon brew. Had it not been the size of a nickel, I would have gasped a little then promptly eliminated it. As it was, the size of this particular spider had reached the “reluctant to squish” range because frankly, ew, I don’t want spider guts on anything I own! Let’s be honest, once they reach a certain size where the evidence of their death will be detectable, I’d much rather leave the area or shoo them away than handle any kind of guts. In this case I was caught between “you violated our peace treaty, for which the punishment is death” and “I do not want to deal with your carcass.”

It didn’t help my situation that since this particular spider was big enough to warrant more than a gasp, I accidentally flung the eight-legged crawler way too close to the opening of my hamper for my own piece of mind. Without going into too much detail about the epic battle that ensued (which involved no less than two different aerosols and all the members of my family in the house at the time), the spider was iced.

The psychological damage had just begun, though. This is the crux of what I don’t like about things that crawl. My mind goes into overdrive and even when I never had physical contact with a spider or insect, the very fact that it could have been in something I wear or a place I sleep is enough to cause to me to scratch and swat at phantom skin crawlers for the rest of the day. I had the same reaction when I found a beetle in one of my t-shirts a few weeks back. That shirt, which I had not yet worn, had to be quarantined from the rest of my clothes and then washed again before I was satisfied it was no longer contaminated. My mind freaks out and tells me, “since you didn’t know about that one, there’s probably more, including in the clothes you’re wearing right now,” and then I feel the bugs on me for hours.

It doesn’t help that I have no idea what poison or disease a spider or insect might inject into me so I err on the side of caution, assuming all spiders are poisonous and all mosquitoes will give me malaria.

So to sum up…

Spiders out of arm’s reach: safe.

S.O.A.C.S. (Spiders of a Certain Size) or ones that move in a non-standard spider fashion (ie fucking jumping): go away – oh fine, I’ll leave.

Spiders found in my things or within eyesight of a screamer: moments from death.

Spiders in my laundry basket: we both come out losers today.

Journey Through the Gate

You should probably be aware up front that I have never learned how to be concise. Also, I own the extended cut of Stargate which is two hours long…

I haven’t seen this movie in ages, but I have seen it, so there aren’t any surprises in this viewing for me – not that there necessarily would be if this was my first time watching it as I am painfully good at guessing “twists” and endings, much to the detriment of my own enjoyment at times. I am 100% sure I will enjoy it as much as I always have, though, especially since it has a new found purpose as the start of my interstellar adventure and subject of my critical eye.

Below the cut, there be spoilers! Ye have been warned!

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Knowing What You Want

One of the more frustrating things for me, as far as socialization goes, is hearing my single male friends and acquaintances complain about there not being more women who will make the first move. When it comes romantic entanglements I have no problem “making the first move” or indicating my interest, but in my experience, the kinds of guys who say things like that are the same sort that not only respond with little enthusiasm when a woman does show interest, but is likely to say that she is intimidating. I personally have no qualms about being intimidating, particularly because in my case it translates to “direct” and “up-front,” but I will admit it took me a while to reconcile what it sounded like they were saying (“you’re scary”) with what were in reality positive characteristics that may have just caught them off-guard.

 

The realization came during a discussion when I called out one Suitor who was claiming he could figure out when women were interested in him. I expressed my skepticism, saying it had taken him two weeks to figure out that I liked him, but he responded that he had in fact known, he was just being a chicken. I asked for an explanation because as far as I could tell it was the perfect recipe guys often claim to want – a woman initiated, clearly indicating her interest, which was understood, and was now waiting for some kind of reciprocal response. “You’re intimidating,” he said, “you know exactly what you want.” Apparently the idea of being wanted by that kind of person is enough to scare some men into inaction.

For the most part I try to wear my opinions and desires on my sleeve. I think it comes across as open and self-assured, but it actually developed from a place of insecurity. I am so unsure of many things in my life, particularly where my future is concerned, that in order to feel more confident I project that which I am certain. Since self-confidence functions for me like a feedback loop, it reaches a point where I come off as intimidating. I seem to know exactly what I want because in contrast to all the things I waver on – marriage, children, career, where I’ll live; all decisions that will be affected by people and events yet to come –  I feel decisive about my hobbies, morals, passions, attractions, and the like, and that shows.

That insecurity about what’s ahead of me also feeds into a personal philosophy akin to “life’s too short.” There are so many questions in my life (as well as everyone else’s), why wouldn’t I be direct with the things I know about myself? If I’m attracted to someone, hemming and hawing about whether or not they feel the same serves absolutely no purpose. I’ve learned that the hard way. Rejection sucks, but it doesn’t make me nearly as miserable as pining away in uncertainty has.

Unfortunately, “do they or don’t they?”-style interactions seem to be the norm among my age group, so a lot of people don’t know how to respond when someone cuts through the standard model to be more direct. It comes off as aggressive, especially if it done by a woman, when in reality, the long, drawn-out flirtation period is a warped remnant of puberty courtship rituals when emotions were so much more unstable and volatile. I am, after all, a direct person in general, and while my emotions can still get the better of me at times (I cry at way too many commercials), I understand enough about myself to know the kind of person I am attracted to and that things can get pretty awesome if they know it too. If “not wasting her time” gets equated to “she’s terrifying,” so be it.

In the end, I think being intimidating serves me well. After all, if someone doesn’t have the fortitude to survive the initiation of a liaison with me, it certainly does not bode well for any kind of relationship that might develop. While there’s nothing wrong with a guy who’s looking for a more demure partner, someone like me is probably going to leave him feeling worse than when we started. I just wish that more men realized a woman who makes the first move is likely to be assertive in many aspects of her life so that I could stop hearing complaints that contradict what I know they’re actually seeking.

A Discovery of Epic Proportions

I will warn you up front, I may be exaggerating a bit with that title. I don’t believe I am, but I am also given to using hyperbole in my daily life, so I will let you be the judge.

Ordinarily I don’t pay much attention to “look at this deal!” posts on the blogs I frequent. I come from a long line of pack rats and it takes active willpower not to keep things because they might be useful or hold some nostalgia. This also means a regular struggle against my wants when a bargain is involved, especially considering I am an incredibly indulgent person, so it’s better for my wallet if I breeze past a deal. (Don’t ask me how my first Steam summer sale is going.) Sometimes, however, I come across a sale I sincerely believe is a steal and I feel a sense of accomplishment rather than mild guilt for another attempt to reconcile impulse purchases.

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Sweet Home (Underrated J-Horror Movie)

Hello everyone, Steven here. I wanted to talk about a I surprisingly good movie called “Sweet Home”. This is most well known for being an adaptation of a video game released the same year (1989) and the game being known as one of the world’s first survival horror games. “Sweet Home” has a familar plot, but isn’t tiresome at all. A group of filmmakers head to an allegedly haunted mansion of a famous artist known as Ichirō Mamiya. Since his death, he’s left behind several frescos inside his house and the team hopes to restore these frescos so they can document them for the public to adore. Unfortunately, the spirit of Mamiya’s wife is watching over them and begins her reign of terror over these new guests of the Mamiya manor.

This movie has many things going for it, the first being effects. Remarkable in my opinion, especially towards the end of the movie, but I won’t spoil those parts. Performance wise, each actor does commit to their parts and gives off good performances. Don’t expect Oscar-caliber performances though. Lastly, the tone was executed nicely. At times I felt uneased and the movie did get under my skin when I least expected it to. Though this movie may not rank as one of the scarriest things I’ve ever seen, it still gave me chills and it was refreshing to see a horror movie that did not rely on jump scares. Cons wise, the plot could’ve been written a bit better, and certain scenes did drag, but these aren’t deal breakers, people. I still enjoyed the story and it wasn’t boring.

Overall, I recommend this movie to anyone who appreciates, enjoys, or is interesting in foreign flicks. Though this may not be on the same level as “The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly” or “Seven Samurai” this is still a good enough to give your time to and I gurantee you will at least get some chills while watching this. With a rating of 6.8/10 on IMDB, I hope this movie at least gets more attention.

Thanks for reading my review, and if you want to play the game, head over to vizzed.com and look under the Famicom section. I recommend giving it a play-through!

Scientific Chuckles

One of the most telling things in regards to how giant of a dork I am sometimes is what I laugh at. I like to think my sense of humor is broad, allowing me to relate to a variety of people, but some of the most memorable jokes and puns for me are ones only people who have at least a little background in physics, chemistry, biology, or other similar fields understand. Even then, I find I’m often the only one laughing.

Nevertheless, I maintain that science humor is hilarious, and in the interest of making it just a little less underappreciated, I give you 14 of my favorite “scientific chuckles.” I hope at least one of them makes you smile, even if you roll your eyes while doing so.

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Happy July!

Despite my usual enthusiasm at being full-swing into summer, I feel out of sorts today. My tea tasted like coffee this morning, my thought process feels tediously slow, and I have to admit, June was something of a wash for me productivity-wise. I started or continued a lot of things, but never saw any of them through to fruition. Call it “summer fever” and attribute it to my restlessness. On the positive side, it is absolutely beautiful outside and there is a little over a month until my birthday.

So what did I do with my June that kept me so distracted from this site, yet has little to show for it?

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The Weight of a Decision

I’ve determined decisions have a very specific weight – that of a car.

I say this because I have recently learned how difficult car shopping can be.

I am 100% sure I rank close to the top of car enthusiasts’ “worst nightmares.” I know next to nothing about automobiles and have even less interest in them, except for when they pertain to me. Even then, it has to be older than I am and likely to be described as “sporty” or of the “muscle” variety. Think, something Ferris Bueller would steal or Dean Winchester would drive, with an exception for vehicles I could chase tornadoes or road trip through Central America in. I heartily admit that this preference is based solely on aesthetics because I don’t drive fast or with any kind reckless abandon.

When I started car shopping, I was positive I would only find ugly beaters within my meager budget. Much to my surprise, in addition to many suitable Honda Civics and VW Jettas, people in my area were selling things like shiny red 1977 Triumph Spitfire convertibles for $1900! And lo! I even found a Jeep CJ7 that was $1500! I could learn to drive a manual and replace a drive shaft for that price, especially since the CJs are my current vehicular obsession and I haven’t been able to find many under five thousand, never mind my cut off of three.

The problem is, I wouldn’t get as good of gas mileage with the Spitfire and the Jeep as I would if I went with something like my brother’s, the technician’s, recommendation, the Acura TL, yet the more “economical” choice holds little appeal to me. I know I should choose a car with commuting in mind, I just don’t want to. I’d like to say I’m certain the logical part of me is going to come out ahead, but to be quite honest, my track record shows fewer regrets when I go with the “cool” option over the smart one. However, since a car will be such an integral part of my life, I am giving reason plenty of consideration, and let me tell you, this is not a pleasant inner debate.

Hence the proverbial “weight” of this decision I spoke of earlier. Frankly, there’s no telling yet if “choose something unremarkable, yet practical” will win out over “holy shit, I want that one!”

This must be why other people get their parents to buy them cars (in addition to the “free” thing) – having someone else pay for it probably wipes away some of the heaviness of decision-making.