Strange things are afoot at the Circle K

Not really at the Circle K, just in my life.

Yesterday, my favourite ex-best friend/ex-boyfriend/ex-lover decided to send me a friends request on Facebook.  Now, I didn’t even think Favourite-EX could spell Łobuzerka, let alone would want to be friends with me.  This brought me to a whole bunch of feels I was not prepared for when I got the request yesterday morning.  Favourite-EX and I used to be Facebook friends, but recently Partner decided to get a Facebook.  So I won’t be accepting that friends request.  It probably would have been fine if we’d been friends… but I’m not dealing with it.

That was yesterday morning around 1000.  At 1200, at lunch, Partner asked me what was the biggest stone I’d wear in an engagement ring. I’m sorry, what?  We spend entirely too much time fighting and yet, here we are buying rings and deciding who we want to be in our wedding party.  I need to go join a church and get that straight so we can marry in a church.  All of this feels very very surreal.

Now don’t get me wrong, I want to marry Partner.  We’ve been together for almost 9 years. (I think. I’m honestly not so good with dates since 1.0 died.)  I cannot even imagine a world where Favourite-Ex would want to be anything other than friends at this point in life.  I can’t actually even imagine why he sent me a friends request.


But this whole shit is making my head hurt and I need to go tell Favourite-Ex that I’m sorry, I love him dearly, and I miss him painfully, but I will not be accepting his friends request.



I don’t even know what to say, I’m so livid

I swear to fucking god.

My boss, who is generally a nice, extraordinarily competent woman who I like working for greatly, just told me that the thing that will standing my way most when they consider whether or not to hire me full time is *drum roll please*….

I’m not nice enough.

Read that again. I’m not nice enough. Literally, my emails are too short.  Not impolite, but generally utilitarian.  I get almost 300 a day, and respond to probably 50 or so.  I’m neither impolite, not curt.  I am however buried under a deluge of shit, and I’m generally kind of I guess, terse?  Yeah.  Terse.

If I lose my job, it won’t be because I couldn’t perform, though I have struggled, it will be because I respond to my colleagues’ emails tersely.

Which I might add, is usually how the email I am responding to is worded.  At least I say ‘Please’.  JFC, I can’t tell you the last time someone prefaced a request to me with ‘Please’.




Gender stereotyping much?  Generally I prefer working in a male dominated fields and industries, because, with the exception of dealing with foreign counterparts, most of the bullshit that dominates regular email communication can acceptably be hefted out the window of pointlessness.

Not here.  Here, I am generally the only (on rare occasions 1 of 2) female in a room full of men who are generally good upstanding guys, who make oversized video games for a living.  And, as I’ve learned in years of working in male dominated fields, can be slightly inappropriate at times.

Honestly, I don’t give a flying fuck about off colour comments, hazing, and the rest of the ‘I-work-with-men-who-play-with-large-expensive-video-games-for-a-living’ shit that comes with working here.  And while they try to remember that there is a woman in the room, my lack of  give a shit means they mostly treat me as one of the guys.  (which is exactly what I want)

I don’t even know what to do at this point, I’m so livid about this.


Oh. Yes I do.  I’m going to go call the woman who offered me a job and then had to rescind the offer due to a hiring freeze.  Despite the fact I mostly love working here, I really, really, REALLY wish I could tell them to go ahead and fuck right off.  But because I, like so many others are lucky to even be underemployed rather than unemployed, I can’t.

This kind of shit makes me livid.

Maslow, Faith, and That Time Politics Got Out of Hand.

A couple of weeks ago I posted the following on my Facebook. I wasn’t looking for political debate.  I was honestly asking a question.  Why is everyone trying to get me to vote for their “guy”?


To my dear Facebook friends, I have a political question for you.

I have never in the last 16 years encountered so many people trying to convince me how to vote.  What gives this time?  Trump is one thing.  But even before the Michigan primary, it seemed like everyone I mentioned even the date or act of voting to, tried to convince me to vote for someone else.

No one has asked me why I chose who I have.  It’s been an unending stream of ‘You shouldn’t vote for that person!’

So, why is everyone who wants to talk politics trying to get me to vote for their candidate and why doesn’t anyone care about why I’m going to vote for who I’m going to vote for?


I got some responses I expected.  I got some I didn’t expect.


And then I got the response below.  I’ve edited out the names, because. Well, just because.  I’m not in the mood to go toe to toe with this guy again, but I need to address it before it keeps me up all night.



[Names have been changed, and spelling corrected [his], but otherwise, this is verbatim from FB.]


Some Guy I Went to Seminary With: It is because they are corrupt legalist.  They believe that the solution, the savior is in the politician or the political realm.

Reply · 14 July at 20:35

Mara: I think there is a lot the political realm can do to better the world.  What that better looks like is going to differ from person to person, but if we don’t try to make the world better through politics, politics will make the world worse.

Reply · 15 July at 17:43

Some Guy I Went to Seminary With: Mara, I think you have put your faith in the wrong things.

Reply · 15 July at 18:41

Mara : No.  I think much more is usually accomplished from within the system than from without.  If you want to change the world, one of the most effective ways is political office.  And frankly, it’s not things I have faith in in this matter, it’s people.

Also, if all the people worth supporting leave politics because of whatever reasons, politics *will* ruin the world.

Reply · 15 July at 19:47

Some Guy I Went to Seminary With: It is a matter of faith.  You have adopted corrupt legalism.  You want to solve something that is spiritual in nature with legal or political answers.  Our problem is sin and rebellion against God.  The solution is the Gospel and Christ.  You can change the laws, change the government, change those who represent but the problem will never change.  People are in rebellion.  They need Christ, they need the Gospel, they need conversion.

Reply · 15 July at 20:08

Mara: Yes people are in rebellion.  That’s obvious.  Yes much of the world is devoid of meaning for people.

I’m not expecting the political realm to fix that.  I do expect the political realm to work to protect people.  Liberté, égalité, fraternité.  That is all I expect of my government.

Whatever your opinion of gay marriage, trans*gender rights, immigration, or racial and gender inequality, *no one* should have to fear for their life and safety because of who they are.

I am free to be Catholic, practice my faith, and live my life.  I am not paid what a male in my job would be paid.  If I am the victim of sexual assault, it’s my fault.  If I am the victim of discrimination because of my size, it’s my fault.

That is the shit I expect the political realm to deal in.  Not the welfare of people’s souls or the meaning of their lives.

Only the freedom and safety to discover who they are and what the meaning of life is.  When you can’t satisfy the needs at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy, you don’t have time to worry about the needs at the top.


So that last bit.

I’m sorry.  I expect better of my government and I will hold them to that standard.  SGIWSW, just because you don’t expect that of the political realm, doesn’t make you right or me wrong.  Want nothing out of your government?  Want to let them run amuck? Go ahead, and stop trying to hold them to any standard.  See how that goes for you.

And I’m sorry, this is a debate about politics.  Where the fuck do you get off calling my faith into question?  Where the fuck do you get off calling my character into question because we disagree on politics?  Is it because you’re a single issue voter and the potential appocalypse isn’t a good enough reason for you to consider that maybe, just maybe, there should be more to who you vote for than whether or not they support abortion rights?

Also, corrupt legalism?  No.  Only a reasonable and well thought out view of what politics and the political realm can and should be expected to accomplish.  Government for the people, by the people, right?  That better fucking include government that is at least concerned about the wellbeing of those people, and at best should provide for them in some way when they can’t satisfy the first couple tiers of Maslow’s Heirarchy on their own.

Also, if you’re going to throw theology into the mix, don’t forget that we studied the same things at the same school.  Just because I’m not using my degree, doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten what I learned, nor forgotten how to argue with someone when they unnecessarily bring theology into the mix.  So I will leave with this, and please, please, please, remember that Pope Francis has reminded Catholics that we ought concern ourselves far more with the wellbeing of the world, of the poor, of the marginalized, of the destitute and down-trodden, and stop obsessing about gays, abortion, and birth control

Whatever you do unto the least of my people, you do unto me.



A Like Letter to Ted Cruz


Dear Mr Cruz,

Mostly I dislike you.  I figure I should be upfront about that fact.  Because I do, most of the time.  I hate your political views, and I find most Republican members of Congress to be backstabbing, whining, narrow-minded fops.

Last night, you defied expectation when you didn’t endorse Donald Trump.  At least my expectation.

Maybe there were people who knew what was coming, but since I’ve really only followed politics via NPR this year, I had no idea you still weren’t going to endorse Trump.  I hadn’t heard anything about it.  I also hadn’t heard anything about you endorsing him either way.

I did know that the gigantic pool of Republican Presidential candidates agreed months ago to endorse and support whoever won.

Thank you for not doing that.

Thank you for saying this:

And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”  [You can read the full text here.]


Also, how very Un-Republican of you:

Freedom means religious freedom, whether you are Christian or Jew, Muslim or atheist. Gay or straight, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of all of us to live according to our conscience.

So, Mr Cruz, I won’t be voting for your party, at least not for president.  I might have, maybe, if someone other than Donald Trump were the nominee.  But I would have probably voted for Hillary anyway.

I will still be voting for Hillary.  Thanks for the endorsement to do so. 😉

So, Let’s talk about the Boston Globe.


Oh how I love political satire.  It gives me warm and fuzzy feelings the likes of which were once attained only by drinking copious amounts of vodka.  And the Boston Globe gave me the warm fuzzies with their editorial cover for the Sunday edition.

That’s the PDF Copy.  On the bottom left is the requisite ‘Hey, this is an imagined front page from a year from now if Trump is elected’ notice.

And so many people are so offended, it astounds me.  The best commentary I’ve heard [literally] so far, is from yesterday’s edition of On Point with Tom Ashbrook, on NPR [you can find it here.]


OK, first, let’s ignore the Donald Trump part of this and look at what the Globe did.


1. They created a mock front page.

OK, let’s all remember that if you’re reading the print version of the paper, this is page K1.  Not A1.  K is the opinion and editorials page.  It’s 11 sections from the front.  No one in their right mind should have ever thought this was a real front page.  If you’re reading the online version, it’s less clear, but still well stated that this isn’t real, it’s an editorial.

It is fully within the preview of any news organization to engage in editorializing the news.  It is what they do.  It’s what they’ve been doing for hundreds of years.  HUNDREDS!  To be honest, I heard the On Point story before I read the globe front page.  And oh my god.  The things the people say.  I’ll get to that later.

Right, so we’ve established that the Globe stated that this was an editorial, that it wasn’t real, and that it is well within their mandate to editorialize the news.  So… on we go to the actual Trump part of this.


2. They detail issues Trump has raised.

If you listen to the interview with Kathleen Kingsbury on On Point, or the NPR news story from Sunday about the Trump page, or read the article from the Daily Beast where they speak with Editorial Page Editor Ellen Clegg, the Globe did not do this lightly.

They painstakingly and apparently over a significant matter of time, went through Trump’s tweets, talking papers, speeches, etc., before they did this.

The things on the mock front page are all based on shit Donald Trump has said.


Please, let that sink in for a second.


All of it, from killing ISIS families, to deporting 12 million people in two years, to the ridiculous slander law he wants to change [oh god I could go on about that forever but I’ll save that for another time], this is all shit Trump has said.

Now, I understand, politicians say all kinds of shit on the campaign trail to get themselves elected.  Very little of it makes it into law, especially if they’re dealing with a hostile congress.  But, this is satire, and it’s over the top on purpose to make you think about the possibilities.

Rioting in the streets if illegal immigrants are deported en masse?  Yeah, I can see it.  It’s our neighbors, our friends, our families in some cases.  Yes.  It is possible.

US Military forces refusing to kill civilians who are related to ISIS members?  You bet your sweet bippy.  While the military is tasked with following the orders of the president as Commander-in-Chief, that’s only if those orders are legal.  And frankly, that would be Trump ordering troops to commit war crimes.

Trade wars and the collapse of the stock market, and the subsequent collapse of the economy?  Seriously, tariffs are a tit-for-tat business.  We raise them on China, China raises them on us.  And on and on and on.  That’s how it works.  I work in the auto industry.  All the progress the Big Three have made since the Great Recession will be wiped out in a matter of minutes if they can’t continue to buy cheap shit.  Also, frankly, there are a lot of car parts manufactured in Asia, that we no longer have the capacity to produce here, let alone for the same price.


3. They researched their positions with political analysts, economists, etc.

OK, I am not an economist, a political analyst, a business guru, or any of that.  I am a well-educated, well-informed, well-read member of the voting populace.  I can draw the same conclusions that the Globe did.  But they didn’t ask me.  They asked people who do that for a living.  While it’s all pretty common sense to me, it’s not necessarily to everyone.  So let me say this again, The Boston Globe asked experts to find out what would happen if Trump were elected and his policies were enacted.  This is what they got.  It’s not fanatical bullshit, it’s not stupid, as Trump has said in response.  It was well thought out and as well researched as a [dystopian] futuristic article could be.

Also, just so you know, the Globe is a Republican leaning paper.  They endorsed John Kasich for the NH Primary.   They are not a super liberal paper.


One more thing.  If you do listen to On Point from Monday, there are a number of people who call in, as it is a call-in show.  Some of them are more interesting to listen to than others.


I have two callers that I’d like to comment on.  The first is a woman who was deeply offended by the fact the Globe said soldiers were disobeying an order.  It’s unclear whether or not she realized the scope of the satire, despite the fact that Ashbrook asked her several times.  Yes, ma’am, soldiers would indeed disobey that order.  [I imagine the 900,000 ICE agents that would need to be hired to deport 12 million people in24 months probably would too, eventually.]

The other caller I wanted to mention was, in fact, an active duty military gentleman.  He wasn’t upset with the Globe for saying that soldiers weren’t following orders.  He points out that they are only duty bound to follow legal orders.

He is however upset that the Globe wasted time on an editorial when they should have been reporting the news.


People just don’t get it.

On Amazon, business, and Robber Barons.

There are a lot of things I love about Amazon. I’m a Prime member, and along with Netflix and Hulu, we use Prime Instant Video to replace cable. There are some things I don’t, artists don’t make much from the sales of their music, either physical or digital copies, writers the same.

But Amazon didn’t tell Hachette to raise prices. Amazon wanted Hachette to lower prices on ebooks this spring. I know, I was watching, while waiting for a much anticipated-by-me title to be available.   (It is now, and surprise surprise, I haven’t ordered it yet. Why? Because I keep forgetting to. I wanted it when I wanted it (which was for pre-order) and haven’t felt like dealing with it since then.) Do I think Amazon should recommend that publishers sell e-books at $9.99 a pop? Yeah, I do. It’s a fair price for everyone. (Amazon has a nifty cost breakdown of who gets paid what avalible if you google it.) They don’t control what portion of the e-book sale actually goes to the author. The publisher does. E-books are cheap. They take up no physical space, so once the publisher recoups what they put in to get the book published it’s almost pure profit.

But, back to the Robber Barons.

In an OP-ED on the NYTimes, Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K., Paul Krugman argues that Amazon is behaving like Standard Oil did before they were broken up by an anti-trust suit, especially their practice to only use rail carriers that offered them a discount.

Oh, Paul.

You must have no idea how business works outside of the publishing industry.

Say Company 1 makes a widget for $10.00.

Company 2 makes the same widget, but if you buy that widget from them for the next 4 years, they’ll give you a 3% price break years 2-4.

Company A, the customer, has an established relationship with Company 1, but they like Company 2’s pricing better.   If Company 1 wants to keep selling the $10.00 widget to Company A, it will be $9.70 in year 2, $9.41 in year 3, and 9.13 in year 4.

I’m pretty sure that’s worse than what Amazon was doing, but no one goes after manufacturing and industry for insisting on those kinds of discounts. And no one calls them Robber Barons either.

So, Paul, remember, while you think Hachette got screwed by Amazon. All of us widget makers get screwed every day by our customers, and we get to take it lying down.

Because that’s just business.