Thursday, June 22, 2006

Suggestions: Need a new name.

Tomorrow is my last day as a Barista.

Hobolawstudent is too long for a display name, although I like it.

So any suggestions on what to call myself now?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My sister is a sloppy drunk.

But, unlike other sloppy drunks, and much like her approach to every other irresponsible developmental stage she's careened through, (anorexia, bulimia, depression, precocious sexuality) hers is carefully designed and contrived.

She was not as drunk as she wanted to appear.

But she was drunker than she should have been.

And I'm pretty angry, irrationally so. But somewhat rationally so. I'm going to need to talk to her, but it will do nothing. My sister, you see, has this habit of getting very drunk, and flirting, hardcore, to the level of dancing and rubbing, with vastly innapropriate men that she has no interest in. Which, in general, is a bad practice. Because it leads, at best, to misunderstandings. And at worst, it can lead to terrible consequences.

She doesn't know any better. And no one can teach her to know any better. I can't sit her down and say "Listen, you really have to think about how you're acting when you drink, and how much you're drinking in order to act that way". Because, if I know my sister, and I do, she's drinking too much in order to act irresponsibly, rather than the other way around.

Because you can't say "Please, don't become impaired and put yourself into bad situations" to a rape victim. Which is something that she certainly has integrated into her identity. And, to imply that something bad can come from getting drunk and flirtatious is to imply, people say, that the victim is somehow responsible. And that "blaming the victim", thus, is the worst thing that anyone can do.

But really, if all that is yielded from feminism is the right to have too much to drink and dryhump strangers with impunity, then perhaps feminism was misguided. If not, perhaps we should leave behind the notion that to imply that on occasion, certain patterns of (by definition, voluntary) behavior may lead individuals to be mistreated in a variety of ways, with great variation in severity, is to blame the victim

People need to become aware of what they are doing, and why they do it. And in that way, they can begin to act more like adults; i.e, weigh the possible costs and consequences of actions, rather than merely denying that unlikely and unfortunate results could be possible, merely because they should not be.

And I'm in a fucking hard spot right now. Because she's out with my roommate. And they're having a grand old sloppy drunk time. And my roommate's got a new boyfriend. And my sister is being flirted with by this gnarled, multiply tattooed, old old guy. And she can barely walk. But I'm supposed to be out with them, having a good time. But I can't stop remembering that memorial day weekend when my parents called to tell me that she'd been raped. And I can't stop remembering how she's acted, her entire life. And I can't stop being pretty fucking uncomfortable when she's having a really, really fun time being really, really stupid, and actually, fairly skanky.

It hurts, actually. Because it reminds me of high school. My friends would all go to these parties. And I couldn't go. Because I didn't do drugs, or drink. So they told me I wouldn't have fun. They had their fun time, while I had to be the fucking prude. And I'm not. But my sister, because she hasn't got a functional older brother, has forced me to be one. Instead of being co-conspiritor, I'm a chaperone. I can't get drunk. Because I'm thinking of what will happen if she tries to date this stumpy man, and my father has a heart attack, or, alternately, kills him. Or, if she decides that she's never wanted to flirt with him, and that she was terribly uncomfortable all night, and that the humping she seemed to enjoy, was assault. And needs therapy, and medication, and goes back to cutting herself.

And my roommate is no fucking help. Because my sister will get drunk, and go along with anything, my roommate has found the perfect friend. She doesn't care what could happen. She doesn't care who my sister goes home with.

And I'm all fucking alone again.




Sheer Jackassery


Marshmellow Fluff.

A fine meta-food product, beloved of parents and children, extant far before children began to get fat.

And now, a figure of great controversy in Massachusetts.

State Senator J. Barrios, a man who once was a devotee of the Atkins diet, became " outraged that his son was served a Fluffernutter for lunch at his Cambridge elementary school, (and) proposed an amendment to a junk food bill, calling for limiting the serving of Fluff to once a week in schools statewide. "

If Jackassery wasn't a word prior to this, it sure is now.

Because nothing else describes proposing a bill to limit the serving of a sandwich spread to schoolchildren, especially couching it in such hyperbolic terms as Mr. Barrios has.

This is the incident that roused his legislative fervor, such as it is.

"`I'm at home and my son wants to make a Fluffernutter sandwich," Barrios recalled. ``It turns out the Cambridge schools offer this as a nutritious lunch alternative to the meal of the day." Noting that Fluff is 50 percent sugar, he added, ``I'm not sure we should be even calling it a food." (Boston Globe)

His son asked for a sugary sandwich, that he had been served at school. And instead of starting a conversation about nutrition, good choices, and portion control, he tried to make a law.

Gee, and I thought only women were so reactionary and irrational.

But, a man who considers eating a low-carb diet healthy eating would probably be incapable of explaining, to his son, what place discretionary foods, such as Marshmellow Fluff, may have in a balanced diet.

The division of the complex subject of nutrition into good foods (to be eaten without limit) and bad foods (to be completely restricted) is juvenile, naive, and destructive. There can be no balanced diet without some portion control; the division of foods is an attempt to bring virtue to gluttonny. The reapportionment of foods into good and bad categories is always an attempt to justify consuming to much of some, by refraining from all of another. This is fucking stupid. It didn't work low-fat, it didn't work low-carb, and it won't work low-sugar.

Senator Barrios, explaining the problem with Marshmellow Fluff, says that it is nearly fifty percent sugar. Sugar is a food (food component) nearly universally recognized as "bad" these days. It's a carb! And nothing else!

Any neuroscientist can tell you that the brain runs on glucose. Any organic chemist can tell you that the body builds amino acids and fuels reactions by breaking the bonds of carbohydrates. Sugar, a hydrocarbon, is no more loved or hated by the body than anything else. It can't fucking tell the difference.

It's true that consumed in large quantities, may lead to inadequate consumption of nutrients (because sugary foods have replaced a diversity of foods in the diet) or overconsumption of calories (because sugary foods are eaten in addition to other foods, exceeding the total caloric requirement for maintaining weight). But that is true of any caloric nutrient. (Of which there are three, kids. Just three- carbohydrates, fats, and proteins)

Marshmellow fluff is not going to kill your children.

You are going to kill your children.

By keeping them indoors, so they don't burn calories.
By teaching them absurd nutrition voodoo, instead of portion sizes.
By driving them to school.

Marshmellow Fluff could even be an important nutritional lesson for elementary school children. Imagine this. A child has a choice of two meals. One, a high-sugar meal, of a half-Fluffernutter Sandwich, is balanced by high-fiber bread and served with strawberries and celery sticks. One, a larger green salad, comes with another indulgence. Instead of a sugary treat, this big green salad comes with a small slice of buttery garlic bread and some black beans. Both could be balanced meals, and could teach children that they can eat anything they want- as long as they don't eat it all the fuck at once.

But this is too complicated a message to entrust to children. After all, we still want to be able to tell them that if they have sex before marriage, they'll die of cancer.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

What a party.

The police came.

The same policeman I hit with my car last December.

He didn't seem to remember. Other than that, the party went well. 30 people came. I dropped lots of meat into the grill. People got drunk.

The titty cake went over well. I will post a recipe here as soon as I have a picture to go with it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I am an Alumna.

Of UMass Boston.

Thank God.

I was just at my parents' house, doing some laundry, and I had a chance to leaf through my alumni magazine. Not of my alma mater on the Atlantic, dear UMass Boston (Motto: Non Credo Stare Academiae), but my psuedo alma mater. Bennington College, the school from which I was expelled midway through my second sophomore year.

Looking at the glossy pages of "Bennington Magazine", I expected to feel nostalgia, regret, or some pang of sadness. Instead, relief.

Thank God.

Thank God I was inexplicably expelled by my dear old Abortia Mater, because otherwise I might have turned out a narrow, pretensious, self-righteous, unemployable jackass like the motley motherfuckers in that magazine.

(But, Hobo, I thought that you were friends with several Bennington Alumni...)
(So I am. I don't know how they escaped without becoming douchebags, but rest assured, I would have.)

Only the Bennington Alumni Magazine could profile so many unemployed and psuedo-employed graduates without some, if not revelation, reflection. There was a little puff piece, profiles of "graduate trustees", students who were asked to contribute administratively after graduation. And out of four graduate trustees, only two were even arguably employed. And of those two, one was a "Yoga Teacher".

With a 120,000 education. Jesusom.

UMass Boston may be deficient in some ways. Certainly, pedagogically, UMass is inconsistent. Some Professors are passionate, brilliant, organized, and really seem to understand what they have to offer their students, and what to demand from those students in return. Others may simply have taken the wrong shuttle bus from the red line, intending to go to the Bayside Expo Center to see the Boat Show, and stuck around. Also, the facilities range from crumbling, airless, windowless, and crowded to gleaming, impressive, and useless. Actually, there's no range. Those are the two options. But UMass Boston at least delivers on its promises. If you keep showing up, eventually you'll get a degree in something. And I did. For about 20,000.

(But, Hobo, people at Bennington get degrees, too...)
(They sure do. Bachelor of Arts. Good for them. Let's teach Yoga!)

Bennington College taught me one thing. It taught me that staying in one's room and crying is only charming for the first year, and after that, becomes tedious. No.

It taught me that you can't sit back at wait for people to realize that you're brilliant, witty, and really talented. Because there are tons of over-praised toddlers, grown up and mewling for cadeaux, who will drown out any quiet genius you suspect yourself of possessing. And that quiet patience will look, to authority figures brainwashed or exhausted by the political machinations of the esteem generations, to be lack of effort or enthusiasm. At best. At worst, pathological apathy and deviant torpor.

Friday, June 02, 2006

June 2, 2006.

In a few hours, I'll be a college graduate.

Bachelor of Arts. Psychology. I wrote my capstone on prairie dog infanticide, and another on benzodiazepine abuse in the elderly. I finished my major in three terms, which is not to say that I finished college with any sort of efficiency. It's been six years since I first became a full-time college student.

I went from one of the country's smallest, most exclusive, most liberal colleges, to a large state supported research university that must accept all state residents.

I spent two years in the middle working. Marketing, formalwear. For profit- junior college admissions. If you think it's hard to convince someone to buy a tuxedo over the phone, try convincing them that they've been pre-accepted to a 'totally legitimate, fully semi-accredited institution of academie'.



I don't know how I feel about graduating from UMass. I don't know how I feel about going on to Northeastern. I know that there's a snobbish part of me that feels like Bennington shaped me more than UMass, and feels scammed that I spent equal time at each 'institution of academie', but will get a degree from the less prestigious one. There's also a rabid anti-snob part of me that wants to pretend that I sprang, fully formed, from the loins of a ship yard welder, sailed through public schools without interruption, put myself through college toiling in food service, where I spent my time working for affordable housing and drinking beer.

But I don't drink beer.

The truth is somewhere in the middle. My father did work in a shipyard when I was born. When I got to college for the first time, however, money was not a problem. By the time I was asked to leave the first college, money was a problem. Thus, public. Thus, toil. But without the generosity of my parents and boyfriend, I'd never be able to afford my lavish lifestyle including both protein and petroleum.

I don't feel like I fit anywhere. I chose my psychology degree because it only took twelve courses to complete. I have no real passion for the subject, but find it interesting enough to sustain the impression of hard work. I chose my university because they were obligated to overlook my academic problems at the previous college.

And now, law school.

I don't know where I will fit. I don't know if there will be the success I found at UMass, or the blind, struggling failure I found at Bennington. I'm not even sure I want to be a lawyer. But I want to be something. And I don't mind working incredibly hard to do it.

By the way, this will be my last serious post for a while.

Soon enough, there will be a return to posts full of swear words and irrational rage at people I don't know well.

Until then, Hobobarista will still be around. I don't cease to be a Barista until june 23.