May 27, 2013

In what was a thoroughly impressive move to try–on a whim: Yonatan brought an entire basketball court to my office today (at least sort of, it was a pretty elaborate $20 portable plastic basketball hoop set-up). It’s too big for my office though, so Yonatan is keeping it in his, which is just down the hall way– as this small, surprising world would have it. And so, while I should have been working diligently on my presentation for an upcoming philosophy conference in Ohio on the topic of diversity, I found myself instead shooting free throws and learning about soteriology (the study of salvation) with this religion scholar (and fellow fellow–again, as this small, and continually shrinking– world would have it) whom I had met by chance at Chad and Agata’s most recent poker night, which Brad and I had decided to get in on–on a whim.

May 23, 2013

held hostage   by its  ability to survive beyond
events it  hadn’t been designed to

May 23, 2013

So today is move day. Another transition. Last week, as I walked up toward the apartment, I found Bonnie doing some summer gardening– she looked so beautiful and happy outside sitting under the sun, surrounded by flowers and pots and soil. I had found such an amazing roommate, I thought to myself. Bonnie is super-independent and super-creative, two of my favorite qualities to discover in another person. Last week, she got the impulse to make a collage out of a bunch of her fashion magazines she had laying around, she worked through the middle of the night– cutting and assembling various male heads on various female body poses– the finished product was super impressive and hysterical. Framed as it is, hanging now up in the living room, you’d honestly just as soon assume it was a bought-and-paid-for art work from an exhibit. Bonnie’s goals include becoming a professional hair color specialist (and after working with my hair, I can attest to her level of skill and patience) and living in New York city. That’s where she lived before Tallahassee (but after living a year in Costa Rica!). Bonnie says she loves and misses the tempo and culture of the city, says she needs it to stay motivated and engaged with the world. Understandable. That said, I really, really hope we stay close, and our friendship grows, in what remains of her (and my) time in this town.

May 23, 2013

My friends, Sean and Brad, both gave me the very reasonable advice not to respond to this status update qua question prompt, but I was hopelessly compelled. Sean’s rationale was, “its a lost cause.” Basically, his opinion was that these were not people to be reasoned with. I wanted to believe that his was a premature call, though I did agree with general sentiment Facebook debates are better avoided. Any who, what’s done is done–what’s done?

Trinie  Does it make me a bad person if I secretly hope none of my boys end up with a girl with sleeve and neck tattoos?

HR Mac No!

Cindy  Ditto!

Berkely No that makes you honest

Me Two of the sweetest girls i know have sleeves. Why not just wish them happiness

Trinie  I know some wonderful ladies all tatted up…it’s the perception it leaves that’s all!

Becky  Awe that’s honest but just because we or they have sleeves/tattoos doesn’t make them bad!! My best friends have sleeves and if I could, I would.

Berkely  she’s not saying they are bad people. I get it Trinie.

Becky  I know but it’s basically profiling a perception and it’s art.

Becky  But I do see what she is saying

Trinie Not bad person at all! But the perception is trashy. Society has standards…first impressions mean a lot whether people admit it or not. I’m truly not aiming this post at anyone in particular. I saw a tv show advertising and the girl had a pretty face but was covered.

Trinie  I was thinking to myself, “huh, what a shame…I wonder what she’s going to look like in the nursing home!”

Trinie Besides, my small tattoos are hidden under clothes and eventually they will look like poo.

Bethie My tatoo looks like poo NOW!!! lol! I’m with you Trinie. I know tons of awesome people with sleeves, however they ones that have tatood their hands and necks are having trouble finding professional jobs now. It’s sad, but true. Many companies have grooming standards that won’t allow for them.

Colleen Believe me, tattoos look disgusting on wrinkled skin, not to mention they hide veins. Art to one is not to another.

Me  “She’s not saying they are bad people.” Right. She is, (quite literally, I take it) asking if *she* is a bad person for judging a person based disproportionately on the colors on their skin. The question seems problematic. What I find even more disconcerting, however, is the bandwagon style argument in support of this negative social-cultural bias: basically, more discrimination—only this time with appeal to ageism: Our society thinks old, wrinkled skin is aesthetically unappealing, so just imagine how aesthetically unappealing aged, wrinkled skin *with faded artwork* would look? There are tensions in the line of reasoning Trinie put forward: She knows ‘wonderful ladies’ that are ‘all tatted up’ but she believes the ‘perception’ is ‘trashy’. She felt bad for the pretty young lady on the ad and thought ‘what a shame’, while noting that she herself has tattoos–but reassuring us that hers are ‘small’ and ‘hidden’. When I see a person with substantial body art, my ‘first perception’ (‘judgment’) is not ‘trashy’—it’s something like ‘there is an individual that values body art as a means of self-expression.’ That’s it. Anything above and beyond that, and I think we’re dealing with personal projection and unchecked, negative social-cultural bias. And if I was going to be critical of something, I would think unchecked promulgation of an arbitrary, negative social-cultural bias a more appropriate candidate for scrutiny than an individual who I have yet to be acquainted with.

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May 21, 2013

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Me: I believe my phone to be sentient.

Me: And I think its recording my breathing.

Me: And what if I tell you it  is sending you these communications,

not I ...?

Sean: Sigh…this is what I was afraid of…

Me: And that this is what the human race is up against.

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"It's perfect--from your perfect,  irresistible,  imagination."  

-Daisy, The Great Gatsby

May 20, 2013

You have to adapt.

May 20, 2013

It’s true that I have long been of the (unpopular) opinion that technology will ultimately be the end of civil society. Therefore, hyper-vigilant as I am about trying to translate my values into action, I had for a long time resolved myself to the simplest of cell phone technologies, a $12 (plus tax) number I purchased from Wal-Mart that had allowed me to text and receive calls, as well as set an alarm on its good days– everything a simpleton like myself could ever have wanted.

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Alas, after hundreds of falls and brushes with death, my phone’s dip last week into the toilet bowl pool–probably in conjunction w/ my premature testing of God’s will on the matter (see earlier posts)–resulted in its final demise. I had no choice but to go to T-Mobile today and look into a replacement. My new phone is what the young folks call a “smart” phone. I don’t know how to use most of it yet, but I did manage to figure out a dial out–so I did what I do best, and called Sean for advice. I told him I didn’t understand half of the apps on my phone, and my finger was too fat to send text messages quickly, but that there were some super cool features– for example, a navigation app for my car! And insta- internet access! I asked him if he had any advice, to which he wisely suggested: “Now, just remember Mary, you need to play it cool. Most of these ‘magic features’ you are freaking out about people have been using since the mid-1990’s–so you’re going to want to bottle up your excitement on this one, k?”. Good advice, I thought. And fast forward our conversation a few minutes to our first text message exchange on my new phone:

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Me:  Got my new phone.

Sean: Nice! Finished my article! Just in time! I win!

Me: Nice! Go Bamboo 🙂

Me: Sorry, I don’t know how to get out of incorrect yet.

Me: Boo boo*

Sean: Lol. Autocorrect. Welcome to first world problems, Marebear

Me: Auto correct*  😦

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Sea Cows

May 20, 2013

Gang field trip–Edwin, Jeff O, Sean, Bilbo, Agata, Chad, Em, Thane, Gabsticles, and me–kayaking the beautiful Wakulla River yesterday. Edwin snapped this photo of the super cute manatee family we saw: (from left to right) Mee-maw, Pee-paw, and Baby-bear.

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We also spotted several alligators, and a water moccasin! And I’m pretty sure it was the closest I have been to any of these animals. Kayaking was a  ton of fun, despite the fact that they had run out of two-person kayaks, which undermined my original plan to serve in the role of group navigator, while one of mis amigos favoritos handled the paddling.

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Let’s see, when we got underneath the second bridge (half way point), Gabs helped the crew celebrate by distributing Airheads. On the way back home, Jeff O let me have control of the  i-pod (i.e. car music)–b/c he knows how much that means to me, and I tried to only select classics: Gangsta’s Paradise, Fiest, 2Pac… I’m sure the trend is clear here. Any who, the next time most of us will get to hang out again is in France (thats right, we’re going to mother-f@#%n France, ya’all), and I thought this kayaking trip made for a perfect hold-over. Beautiful day, finest of company.

May 18, 2013

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i just hate--hate--people pointing their finger at my face. then why didn't you drop an f-bomb, and get out of there... what's that go-to line of yours? go f#$@ yourself?
haha, yeah, that would be it. that's me, real classy lady. but see,  i'm trying--or, well, i'm thinking about trying--to quit cursing for this other gig. and besides, i never gave him an honest response to anything,
it made no sense to me to start then.

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