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Madonna* and the Slut

Monday, February 11th, 2008

So I was waiting for microbiology class to start this morning when some girl behind me decided to share a story that went something like this:

So my dad’s friend’s girlfriend was a TA for a micro[biology] lab in college and they were doing the thing where you swab your mouth and look at the swab under the slide to see the cheek cells and bacteria and all that. And this one girl got all excited and said, ‘Oh I think I got something, it’s swimming around!’ And the professor came over and was like, ‘That’s not a bacteria, that’s a sperm.’

Forgetting that the story in itself is doubtfully true (sperm are quickly flushed out of the mouth by saliva and broken down by our salivary enzymes (they wouldn’t live more than minutes) – and do you know my professors who would publicly announce such a thing to the class?), the reaction of the class pissed me off.

Of course the story is funny-ha-ha, and the usual ‘Oh my God!’s and ‘Eww!’ and ‘Hahaha, that’s hilarious’ went up. Nothing wrong with that. But then five or six guys started harking on and on about how they would totally tease and name-call anyone that happened to. One of the girls said, ‘But not if you didn’t know them, right? I mean, it’s one thing to tease your friends, but if it was a stranger, you don’t want to, like, make them go commit suicide.’ ‘No way!’ was the general consensus from the guys, ‘If it was someone I didn’t know, I’d tease them more!’

This really irks me, and here’s why: I am sure that these guys have had or currently have girlfriends, and I am sure that they expected, or even demanded, oral sex from their girlfriends (remember, the ‘Christian’ in TCU doesn’t really count). But when a girl actually has some evidence of having given oral sex exposed in a very unfortunate way? Oh man! What a slut! That’s so nasty! Talk about your Madonna* and the Slut dichotomy.

So remember girls, put out like there’s no tomorrow, but make sure there’s never any evidence that you’re anything but the perfect angel. The men-folks, they don’t like that.

* And when I say ‘Madonna’ I, quite obviously, do not mean the pop singer. I mean the virgin mother.

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C’est Amusant

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

I thought I’d give a little post about something that’s amused me lately – my email. I regularly get emails from The Times (that would be the one based in London, not New York or whatever) due to a story I’m not going to explain. But I’ve been getting them for years now, so I’m somewhat fond of them, even though I rarely read them and just press ‘delete’.

Anyway, in the last week or so I’ve had a few that caused me slight amusement. Here’s three that arrived, in descending chronological order:

You can just hear the doom approaching, can’t you? I bet you never knew we needed to act now. Anyway, I realise now that I’m probably the only one that finds this funny. Oh well, I am attracted to the way it builds up.

In other news, I’m wondering if maybe the manager at Einstein’s searched ‘einstein’s bagels tcu’ and found my blog (and my recent post about Einstein’s) on the second results page, as recently he’s been very friendly, remembered my name, and made joking small talk with me. Also, another one of the regular girls has learned my name. I have no idea if he did read my blog post, or if that was just creepy coincidence. Either way, it’s nice, and I appreciate it.

I guess that’s about all that’s happening in my life at the moment. Pretty boring, really – just the norm. The Purple Bike Program is going great, for all those that care, and my only wish would be that I could spend more time on it. We’re going to start a donation site soon where people can encourage friends and family to donate (tax-deductible and carbon-footprint-reducing) money towards their ‘account’. When they hit $500, we order a Purple Bike they can use until they graduate. (Then it goes to the program.) We’ll still have the regular ‘check-out’ bikes, of course, but this is a good way to increase the fleet. The only sad thing is that the program itself won’t get the bikes until long after I’m gone, most likely.

Well, I’ll shut up, since I think long posts turn people off. Hum dum.

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To Bagel Guy: Thanks

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

I have a back-log of post topics building up, and that hasn’t happened in a while.
Here is my list of topics:
- California/Fall Break (half written, saved as draft)
- Communication differences in males/females, from info I learned in my sociology class
- Cell phones in school
- Einstein Bagel Bros
- Slightly randomized post on kindergarten and social convention
(That’s as much for my benefit as yours.)

I’m going to have to get busy posting, really. Especially since some of them are time-sensitive, like the bagel one, the Cali one (obviously), and the sociology one (so I can most accurately recall.)

But today, The Bagel One.

As some of you may know, I eat lunch and/or a snack at Einstein Bagel Bros on University at least 3 times a week, sometimes 4. Sometimes I go twice in one day. I’ve been going to Einstein’s for lunch since the beginning of last year, and have gone, since then, multiple times a week.

Since beginning of spring semester last year, I have ordered the same thing for lunch – Can I have a Veg Out on Sesame Bagel with no onions, please, side? just a piece of fruit, Emma, for here, just water. If I’m doing a snack, that’s always the same too – Can I have a toasted sesame bagel with plain cream cheese please, Emma, for here, just water.

So obviously, I like this place. I’m a ‘regular,’ as they say. I know the building, recognize some of the other regulars, and have the ordering routine down. I know the manager and a couple of the workers, though most don’t seem to stick around more than a couple months. I know when someone is on shift when they usually aren’t. I know when someone’s the new. I know when they didn’t make my order as per the apparent guidelines. I know how they make a lot of their stuff as least as well as, and sometimes probably better than, the workers.

So over the last year and 2.3 months, I’ve gotten to recognise the few consistent workers and the manager. And it seems like one of the consistant workers at least recognizes me as someone she sees a lot, though doesn’t show it in any way. From time to time a worker who’s there for a month or so has gotten to know my name. But, over all this time, only one worker has actually taken the time and energy to really pay attention to the fact that I was in the fucking place giving them tonnes of profit three-four times a week.

I never knew his name. I kept meaning to look at his name tag, but I always forget, and now I’ll probably never know. He was in his mid-thirties, maybe, and at first I was a little uncertain of him because he was so friendly. But, as time passed and he took more and more of my Veg Out orders, he took the time to learn my name and learn my order.

Then he took the energy to recognise I was a regular and go a little further than that. When I came in through the door he’d always yell ‘Hey!’ and when I left, he’d always yell ‘Thanks, Emma!’ – causing me to be very embarrassed, but smile. When there was a group of people blocking the ordering queue trying to decide what they wanted, he’d step to the side and take my order, because he knew I already knew what I wanted – might as well get someone busy making it while these idiots make up their minds. If there wasn’t any fruit or fruit cups left, I’d obligingly go without and take my tray to my table, and often he’d appear a little later and casually slip a fruit cup he’d gotten from somewhere (sometimes the $3.50 ‘meal sized’ one that I wasn’t ‘allowed’ as a side without paying extra) onto my table, saying ‘Look what I found.’ When my food was ready, he’d call out my name, and then bring it over to my table before I could go to the counter to pick it up. He was always friendly and always smiling. Even if he’d never given me free fruit salads, I appreciated him just acknowledging that I was spending a fairly good amount of money and time at his workplace and being friendly because of it.

I wish that some of the other employees had picked up on his example. Obviously, he was really, really nice, which you can’t expect. I don’t need ‘Hey’s and ‘Thanks’s when I enter or leave Einsteins, but remembering my name or making a general comment like ‘nice to see you again’ is, in my mind, something any good business should try to do for regular customers. And if nothing else, they can do some little things.
For example, today I ordered a bagel with cream cheese, and when I got it, discovered that it had but a mere smudge of cream cheese on it. (This was because they had a new employee preparing the bagels.) I didn’t want to complain, or make a fuss; I know she’s new. So I just went up to the counter and asked for a little container of plain cream cheese from the new employee, as I have done in the past. It’s never caused a problem. But, this time the manager overheard me, and walked over with the new employee to the cream cheese, glancing back at me. Then he walks over to me and asks me “Is this something extra, you wanted on the side?” Translation: We’re going to charge you for this 1 square inch tub of cream cheese. “Well, it’s just that there wasn’t much on my bagel,” I replied. I’ve been here a zillion times, I know how much they’re supposed to put on. I know my allotted amount. He looked doubtful. So I held up my bagel, displaying it’s meager cheese-ness. He conceded, and the girl brought me the cream cheese, while he mumbled to her, “Be sure and use the scoop or you don’t get the right amount.”

Now, I have seen this guy hundreds of times. I can tell that he recognises me from the way he looks at me – you know, that recognition you can see in people’s eyes. He’s never once acknowledged the fact that I regularly choose to spend my money at his franchise. The above situation would have been a great way to acknowledge that they recognise me as a valued regular customer. The amount of money I’ve spent with them has far exceeded what they will lose by not charging me for a tiny container of cream cheese – he’s not going to lose monetarily. And obviously I did get my cream cheese in the end. But in my mind, he should have let it slide, not interrogated me. If he doesn’t want to appear negligent, he could make a point of it being a favor, a thanks for my business.

Maybe I’m just old fashioned; maybe you all think I expect too much? Maybe society’s moved forward too much and nobody gives a damn. I guess Einstein’s doesn’t have a lot to lose from not being a little nicer to a regular customer – being near TCU gives them a thriving customer base. But the manager himself could gain. I recognise extra effort, and, in turn, I’ll thank someone for it, usually by way of a generous tip. (I don’t tip regularly at Einstein’s – I don’t really feel like I need to, they make a killing off me – just $5 every few weeks or so. And it’s not like they’re bringing the food to my table or refilling my drinks.) I guess I learned this from my dad – it’s possibly one of his best qualities. He may be an asshole, but if you go out of your way or are even just extra nice to him, he will notice it, and chances are, you will get something from him in thanks – wine, presents, money. (He keeps half-size bottles of wine in the trunk of his car as impromptu thank-yous for people he meets who go out of their way to help him.)

Anyway, the awesome dude from Einsteins told me two Friday’s ago, as he brought me my sesame bagel, that it was his last day, and that he was going elsewhere. I’m generally shy, and don’t think I’d said more than my order and ‘thanks’ to him before then, but I told him I was sad to see him go. After I finished eating, I went up to him at the counter and pressed $10 in his hand (if I’d had $20, he would have gotten that), and thanked him again for always being so nice to me. He was a great guy, and I always enjoyed seeing him at lunch, even if I was too shy to do more than smile at his kind remarks. I must say that if he was there now, I’d probably be bothering to get lunch instead of in here writing this. But becau
se of this morning, I’m in no hurry to go back since I’m not starving.

So, Einstein Brother’s guy who worked on University and befriended a long-haired girl called Emma, if, by some strange chance you ever do end up reading this, which I know is very unlikely, thanks again. Continue being as kind as you are wherever you’re working now, and I hope you are duly rewarded in life.

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Be Safe, Kids – Say NO to Unhandled Exceptions

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I managed to lighten my mood somewhat, so I thought I’d make a post of it. So what was this miracle, you ask? Why, programming, of course.

I was assigned a ‘lab’ yesterday that’s due in… two weeks. For those of you who don’t know, I’m in a brain-numbingly easy intro to programming class for a reason that’s too long of a story for me to bother telling you now.

So I decided to code the program tonight, and did. Met all the requirements and such. It’s a very simple Java applet that lets you divide numbers if you put them in boxes. (And another even stupider function.) Of course, if you try and parse a string to an int (or double) and it’s not all numbers, it throws an exception. Remember those? Of course, it doesn’t actually do much in the visible part of the program, so we were supposed to let those go. But I didn’t like all the angry red lines in NetBeans (and I also don’t like the idea of people trying to divide words in my ‘Number Divider’ without a scolding) so I handled that exception. Somehow, that gave me very much joy.

You can go marvel over the stupid simplicity and (required) eye-fucking colors of my little applet here:

On a side-note, I realised the other day that my favorite Java and/or C++ segment of code would have to be else if. I think this is because it seems so reassuring. ‘Oh, that didn’t work out? Don’t worry! We have a back-up plan! Everything’s going to be fine!’ I like the idea of there being another option after something has failed.

You might think this relates specifically to now, but it doesn’t. I’ve always felt a little happiness at ‘else if‘s, I just never really realised why before.

Long live, my little blue friend.

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‘Tis the Season to Evaluate

Friday, December 8th, 2006

3. Do you feel that the objectives of this course have been communicated to you effectively?
The objectives that have been communicated to me during this course are: how to show up completely unprepared to teach a class, how to attempt to teach a class while repeatedly failing to bring the required supplies, how to write and then blatantly disregard your syllabus, how to rely on students to provide you with tools to run your class out of fear that their own grades will suffer due to your incompetence if they don’t, how to expect your students to memorize a thick packet of random facts about jogging one week before the final, how to write a final of one ‘essay’ question, which consists of ‘Define and explain’ followed by seven or eight terms randomly selected from afore-mentioned packet, and how to assign a paper on the day of the final (the Friday before exam week), to be due in five days (in the middle of exam week).

One more reason to love this time of year. I adore praising the teachers who deserve it right out of their socks, and ripping the ones who don’t into small, easily digested pieces.

Now I just wish I could ‘evaluate’ the shit out of my internet provider.

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Purple + Emma + Bikes + TV Cameras

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Well, the TCU Purple Bike mini-launch was today, and CBS news showed up to do some videoing and interview my prof. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there, so it was between me and another girl, and she wouldn’t do it. So, there is an interview with me about the Purple Bike Program on CBS local news tonight. I don’t know whether it’s the 4, 5, or 6 o’clock broadcast, but it might air across the metroplex, since it looks like ‘D/FW’ is as local as it gets. So look out for me if you’re in Ft. Worth, Dallas, or Arlington. If I see a video link online on the website I’ll post it so you can all watch me make a fool of myself.

I’ve had more publicity in the last two days than I have had the whole last 20 years.

And I’m wearing my glasses. God, of all days to wear my glasses. Typical.

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Purple + Emma + Bikes

Monday, November 27th, 2006

I was going to say ‘I guess if you’ve got a picture in the paper you haven’t faded away yet,’ but then I realised that that’s completely false.

Anyway, if you get ahold of a Star Telegram (Arlington) then look in the Arlington section for an article on the TCU Purple Bike Program that I’m working on. If you get a Fort Worth Star Telegram, look at the Fort Worth section front page, where you will find a big ol’ color photograph of yours truly with a purple bike.

I personally couldn’t think of a more fitting combination of subjects (purple + bikes) for me to make my newspaper color-photograph (front-page-B-section) debut.

For those of you not in the Metroplex, or lazy, or cheap, here’s a link to the article:
Riding Purple to go Green. I will save and mirror it when I have a little more time. (The picture in the paper is much better than the one here.)

PS – The girl in the picture with me graduated Lamar ’04, just like me. We’d never met or heard of each other until now, and neither of us looked familiar to the other.

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Nothing Wrong with Beanbag Chairs

Monday, August 14th, 2006

Well, for those of you that didn’t know, I am not going to Southwestern anymore. Yes, this is the end of my time there. Things were not working out, and overall I was not very happy, and felt I was missing out on vital college experience and fun that can only happen during college with your friends. Anyway, now I’m going to TCU. And no, not just because they’re purple. But poop. I certainly look like I’ve got more school spirit than God now. Oh well. You all know the real reason… That I love purple.

So, the condo is up for rent/sale, and I’m in an awesome apartment in Fort Worth. It’s still a big mess right now – boxes everywhere and a distinct lack of living room furniture. Also a distinct lack of internet : (. So you won’t see me online much. However, the apt is nice, especially after my mom and I have practically scrubbed our hands raw cleaning the floors and lined every shelf and cabinet to be seen! It’s really taking shape and I’m very happy. Every day it looks better and better.

So! If you’re in town or just nearby, give me a call and swing by so I can show it off to you! And remember, now that I’m back in the Metroplex I’m nearby for any fun that may be happening, so be sure and keep in touch!


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Spore Spore Spore!

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Ah! May is almost here! It’s crazy. May is almost here and I’ve got so much stuff to finish before school is out. Sigh. Urgh. Don’t even want to think about it. Probably should though.

Anyway, I’m excited. I’m excited because E3 is coming soon. Emma, you ask, since when did you even pay attention to E3? Well, since I heard about SPORE, became obsessed, and can’t wait to find out more. E3 is when they are going to tell me more! Well, not me personally, but people that will inform me through their articles and reviews, etc.

SPORE? You ask? WTF? Well, I’ll show you. I’m not even going to try to explain because I’d butcher it. The offical SPORE website is, though there’s not much info there, unfortunately. To find out more, the best thing to do is to watch this video on Google Videos. Yes, it’s a little long, but it’s worth it. At least I think so. Just ignore how the guy talking kindof reminds you of Kermit.
Don’t have time? Well, search spore in Google and read the Wikipedia or other articles about it. Really, though, the video is best.

So yes, I’m excited about that. I don’t really have anything else to write about, except that I’m about to get started writing some paper on healthcare reform for biomedical ethics, and that healthcare reform is boring and stupid. I like abortion and stem cells better.

In other news, I’m now your resident expert on adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) after doing a big ol’ project on it for biology. So, you know, if you need to find out something about ALD… I’m your girl. Also, on that same note, you should all the movie Lorenzo’s Oil, which is about ALD, and is very very good. Also the original Italian Job is a great movie you should see, but that’s completely unrelated.

I guess I should maybe mention that I’m actually considering transferring away from SU and going elsewhere. Probably somewhere in the metroplex: TCU, UTA, or UTD (Dallas). Lots of things factor in, including price. I’m also hoping to go somewhere where I can maybe associate with the people more, or at least find some that are more my type.
Anyway, yea.

Sooooo… Everyone go make people release SPORE.

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