maarmie's musings

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


I've been yawning all day, and I can't think of anything better to do on this rainy Florida afternoon than crawl under my desk and snooze the rest of the workday away. I probably wouldn't normally be this tired, although I've been staying up later than normal watching all the cable TV I can get my eyes on. Last night was special, though, and I stayed up well past my bedtime so I could rock out with Pigface at the Beta Bar, a small venue that attracts off-the-beaten-path groups for all-ages shows.

Pigface is one of my favorite bands. One of my former editors and some of my friends make fun of the band just because of its name. I try and get people to listen to the music before knocking it for its moniker alone, but it's hard to get some people to open their minds enough to let in something new.

I suppose Pigface, a revolving band that features singers and musicians from diverse existing bands, creates what is considered to be industrial music, but I feel that many of the group's songs transcend the "industrial" label.

Oddly enough, Pigface doesn't appear to have a very big following in Tallahassee. The group was supposed to play this time last year, but cancelled the show after only a handful of tickets were sold. I bought my ticket for this year's show on Saturday, two days beforehand, and held ticket number 8. I was worried the show would be cancelled again this year, but it wasn't, and now I have an official Pigface T-shirt.

The show was pretty cool, but about half the crowd left after Sheep on Drugs, the last of three opening bands, was through. The main act didn't play any of my favorite songs, but the group sounded and looked great.

The most irritating part of the evening involved this band member who thought he was cool with his head-to-toe tattoos and bald head with devil horns attached to it, a long goatee and a gold cape. During the show, he swallowed long metal crosses, passed condoms between his mouth and his nose (in his mouth, out his nose and in his nose, out his mouth), shot sparks in the air with a sander and a hatchet, hammered 8-inch long nails into his face, brandished a large whip and cracked it on stage for effect and ran around the audience with a fake chainsaw acting like he was cutting all our legs off while a stage hand chased around behind him shooting him with water from a super soaker.

The devil-man seemed nice, though, and I ended up just feeling sorry for him: He was evidently trying so hard to appear "evil," but he just came off as some hideous joke.

All in all, it was a good evening full of she-males (slightly and more-than-slightly feminine guys wearing makeup and fishnets - YUM!) and hot women dressed in fetish gear. I'll take that any night of the week.

Another good note: The two assholes who were really drunk and started this awful, mean-spirited mosh pit were thrown out on their asses. The bouncers from Beta Bar grabbed the two worst offenders. The first was forcefully made to push the front door open with his face on his way out; the second was dragged out the door backward and kicking and screaming. I hope those jerks learned their lesson about civility. I know it's just a Pigface show, but manners, my friends, are what makes this world go 'round.

Friday, April 22, 2005

10 Questions to Ask a Man Before You Get in Too Deep

1. Are you gay?
2. Are you still attached to your mother by an umbilical cord?
3. Have you had any severe head trauma?
4. Do you like to wear women's underwear? (A "yes" answer to this one isn't necessarily bad)
5. Are you a pedophile?
6. Are you neurotic/a narcissist/a sociopath?
7. Are more than 80 percent of your thoughts of a violent nature?
8. Do you spend more than 30 percent of your waking life grounded in reality?
9. Are you a goddamn liar?
10. Do you cry like a fucking banshee whenever a woman challenges you?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Buyer's Remorse

As you all know, I signed a lease for my own apartment recently and entered the place with only a computer desk for furniture. My clothes are still in suitcases, my books are still in boxes, my TV rests on a huge rubber bin, my DVD player and VCR sit on the ground, I don't have a chair for my desk, I sleep on the floor, and I yearn for a kitchen table.

What was my first furniture purchase? A bed would have been the logical choice. After all, I wake up every night with a horrible pain in my back from trying to sleep on top of this ratty body pillow I have. But I've never been known for being all that logical in my personal life.

No, not a bed. A dresser. And not just any dresser. An expensive-ass dresser. It cost $265 at this antique store. I don't know how old it is (the lady said it's from England and is between 30 and 70 years old - is it still considered an antique?) I don't know what kind of wood it's made out of (for all I know, it's stained plywood slapped together with rusty nails.) Yes, it's gorgeous and all, but I could have used that money to fly to NY or to do a million other things. Why did I buy a dresser?

My first serious case of buyer's remorse hit me about four years ago after I bought my first nearly-new car. I put $1,500 down on a three-year-old Chevy Prizm (which, I'm convinced, is the best, most durable car in the world). The day of my purchase, I tooled around Portland, happy with the knowledge that I could easily go grocery shopping WHENEVER I FELT LIKE IT. The next day, however, I called the car dealership and told them that I wanted to give it back. "Give it back?" said the female voice on the other end of the line. "You can't do that."

The female voice said I could trade the car for something else, but that I was stuck with it. So I called the Attorney General's office and found out about a little something called the buyer's remorse law. Apparently, in some states, people have three days in which to return large items (like a car) if they are feeling they made a mistake. Unfortunately, Oregon isn't one of those states. Needless to say, I still have the car, and it's been wonderful to me. Five payments to go, and it's all mine.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Talking About My Gray Spot on Blogspot

I found a big patch of gray hair this weekend located at my right temple. I have known of gray hairs there for a while (I spotted the first one when I lived in NYC and pulled it out - it was followed by many others, so I stopped pulling) but never in such abundance. I usually dye my hair to give my brown hair a kick and to cover the gray. I guess I'll stop fighting. It seems the gray is going to win in the end no matter what I do.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

To Everything, Turn, Turn, Turn

Profound change will only be created through profound sacrifice and a profound understanding of that sacrifice as a means to an uncertain end. - maarmie

Andrea Dworkin, touted as the "Malcolm X" of the women's movement, died Saturday at her home in Washington, D.C. The one-time prostitute, rape victim and battered wife led the crusade against pornography and violence against women as an unwavering advocate for women amid a slew of detrators, including other women and firm backers of the First Amendment.

Though considered radical even among feminists, Dworkin never lost sight of her goals and the sacrifices she had to make (and the criticism she had to take) along the way. For this, on behalf of women everywhere, I am grateful.


Memorial and on-line catalog

Dworkin quotes

Article on her controversial life and views

Monday, April 11, 2005

Call Me Lucy Jr.

I've always had an appreciation for comedians. Good ones, anyway.

"I Love Lucy" was one of my favorite TV shows growing up. Sure, I had a crush on Ricky Ricardo, but it was Lucy that held my full attention during every episode. Her timing was impeccable. Her facial expressions were priceless. Few stand-up comedians grab hold of me today as Lucy did all those years ago.

A good comic can transform the world. I believe that a good sense of humor and the ability to make others laugh is borne out of childhoods filled with loneliness, sadness and angst, however. That loneliness, that sadness, that angst can be transformed into good comedy if one has a propensity toward it.

I've heard many times that I should venture into the world of stand-up comedy, that I possess "the gift." Not only can I tell stories, people say, but I tell stories in a way that makes people want to listen. I have the ability to act out the characters through my face and my voice. Making people laugh and being the center of attention, in turn, makes me happy.

Jokes, however, are a different story. Sure, I can spin a funny yarn. But actual jokes don't really seem to exist anymore. Funny stories have replaced the knock knock joke and those silly questions followed by even sillier answers. After Princess Diana met her tragic fate, I made up my first actual joke. I don't remember it now, and I wonder if it was ever as funny as I remember it being. That said, here's my second original joke - one I made up Saturday night after a few beers and a couple tokes off a pipe in the presence of a group of friends, one of whom happens to have grown up Amish.

Q: How many Amish people does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Lightbulb? What's a lightbulb?
(Insert a nasal "wah wah wah" after the punchline)

I wonder if anyone at a comedy club would laugh at that one. Keep in mind the drink minimum.

Since I am career-challenged at this point, I am actually considering a venture into the world of stand-up comedy. I'm planning on writing a five-minute routine and trying it out on my closest friends. Who knows? Maybe, eventually, my loneliness, sadness and angst will finally be of good use to large numbers of people. It would certainly benefit me most in the event of a success. After all, all the world loves a clown.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Apartment Update I

I have finally finished unpacking things at my new apartment, one I don't share with anybody else. I can't tell you how great it is to finally have my own place after living in a ratty duplex with a revolving door.

Throughout my year-and-a-half stay at the duplex, I shared my space with a variety of college-aged females (and one male) who all have their own peculiarities (as if I don't). Every single one of them drove me nuts. Eating disorders. Strong religious affiliations. Bad taste in art and home decor (picture a southwestern motif mixed with the rebel flag and crosses that say "Jesus is the man of this house). Horrible taste in television shows (old westerns and sports). Mom complexes. Criminal histories. Bad attitudes. The works.

The only thing I liked about my old place more than my new place is the presence of a washing machine and dryer. The availability of these appliances should not be underestimated. One good thing and one good thing only can come from me being forced to wash my clothes at the laundromat: that I will meet a really hot single guy and break my two-year record of no penetration.

Ok. I guess the secret is out now. I haven't had sexual intercourse with a man for two years now. I'm practically a virgin again. While I was packing up my stuff at my old place, I found under my bed a box of condoms I bought about a year ago. A dozen. Two bonus condoms. That equals 14. There are 14 left. Good thing they don't expire until 2007. A girl can dream, right?

I know what all you guys out there are thinking. Yep, she's ugly. That's why she can't get laid. Well, hate to break it to you, but that's just not true. I'm actually quite decent looking, and, when I put on makeup and wear my contact lenses, I can actually be considered attractive. So, it's not that I'm physically offensive. I'm just real picky these days, and I'm not so fond of men right now.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Covered Up Cover-up

Kudos to Nigel Jaquiss and Willamette Week (JUST a weekly rag - hah!) for winning a 2005 Pulitzer for Investigative Reporting for breaking the 30-year secret regarding former Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt's three-year sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl, a one-time babysitter who is the daughter of a former employee.

While I am glad to see the truth exposed about a highly regarded leader and public figure, I am saddened by what appears to be shoddy journalism that borders on a cover-up by my former employer and one of the most highly regarded papers in the country: The Oregonian. According to followup articles by Willamette Week and other news sources as well as journalism ombudsman American Journalism Review, The Oregonian first got wind of the abuse about 18 years ago yet failed to dig into it and finally reported on it only after Willamette Week published its own story. Horrifyingly enough, The Oregonian, in its article, referred to the assault as an affair, however, and had the nerve to publish an op-ed favorable to Goldschmidt written by one of Goldschmidt's friends who served as a runner between the victim and her assailant in the years following the abuse.

Many people have had knowledge of Goldschmidt's abusive and pedophilic past since the time it happened. One of the top reasons given by this myriad of monsters for not coming forward (aside from the obvious unspoken reason: the professional gain and wealth those close to Goldschmidt have enjoyed throughout the years) is that during Goldschmidt's tenure as governor, he brought about changes that helped make Portland a city people notice. Who wanted to be responsible for turning rumor into fact? Who wanted to fell a hero? Who wanted to be the one to break the news that the city's saint is really a sinner?

Apparently, Willamette Week has no problem with any of the above and is deserving of its Pulitzer. In my opinion, WW did the right thing - even more so because Goldschmidt had, before now, been held in such high regard. After all, saints don't deserve saint status if they're really cretins in disguise.

My heart goes out to the victim of the abuse, from all accounts an attractive and intelligent woman who, since the abuse, spiralled downward from getting poor grades in high school to suffering PTSD after a brutal rape in Seattle (compounded, I'm sure, by Goldschmidt's previous abuse) to drug use and a prison stint.

A settlement nearly a decade ago provided the victim with $250,000 of Goldschmidt's hard-earned (or ill-gotten) cash. That's little consolation for a life ruined by someone many years older and in a position of power who cared more about getting his dick wet than in what the consequences would be as a result of this unjustifiable crime.

One other note: Goldschmidt and his league of cronies aren't the only ones who should pay for the crime and its cover-up. The victim's mother isn't deserving of having the title "mom" considering she went back to work for her daughter's assailant even after she found out about the abuse. Years earlier, she also learned of sexual assaults committed against her daughter by an elder relative as well - and failed to do anything to stop it. I'm not a firm believer in the death penalty, but...

Friday, April 01, 2005

Why Me? Your Guide to Bullying in the Workplace

Happy April Fool's Day. As proof that the unexpected should be expected on the prankster's holiest day of days, two dozen tulips were delivered to my office today. I told the delivery lady that she must be in the wrong office. But, no, she was in the right place. I asked her who could possibly be sending me flowers. She said that I must have done something nice. I replied, "I've never done anything nice." She got a big laugh. I was being serious.

The card didn't contain a message, so, a few hours later, I called the flower shop to find out who sent them. Surprisingly, I didn't even have to bribe the lady who answered the phone. She told me right away. Now I know that if I'm ever going to stalk someone and send them anonymous flowers that I should pay in cash and not leave behind any trace of my name.

Today's topic is workplace bullying. Click on the headline above for a comprehensive guide on bullying: what it is, who bullies, how bullies pick their targets, characteristics their targets possess, how it affects the targets and how to handle the bullying. It's the best resource on the Internet for this kind of thing, and it helped me understand the dynamics in my previous workplace after I got fired by my sociopathic former boss - hereafter referred to as SFB, which could also stand for short fucking bastard and still be accurate.