Friday, August 31, 2012

Keep on Trucking

I never really thought it was possible to say this, but I have had a really awesome couple of days despite the fact that Rob has not only been gone but also completely out of contact since Tuesday.

Wednesday was a really busy day for me work-wise; specifically I had to do some internal training for two coworkers on this software my company uses to create interactive tutorials on PeopleSoft. I started teaching myself the software about 3 years ago--with some help of course--so I've gotten pretty good at finding little tips and tricks to make the whole process easier.  Maybe this is just me, but it's really nice to be able to teach someone something that you know a lot about.  It just feels good to be able to answer questions and provide guidance based on my experience with different clients. I also got to Skype with my good friend Jessica, who I met through blogs but who I consider to be one of my really good friends, in real life or blog life. I hope she feels the same way because otherwise DAMN I'M AWKWARD WRITING ABOUT IT PUBLICLY!1!1!!

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After work and a doctor's appointment I visited my good fire-wife friend Natalie, who is moving back to her native California this weekend.  We relaxed, had a few drinks, listened to music and laughed, which is exactly what I need on these days when Robbie is gone (or really any day, let's be serious).  We rode bikes downtown to meet up with Lindsey, another fire-wife friend, at the Coyote Cantina, which is probably my favorite restaurant here. They have this martini called a Rockstar, a strawberry lemon drop with Pop Rocks around the rim.  It's delectable.

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Unfortunately, I hadn't ridden a bike in years (literally can't even remember the last time) and I was doing it with 3 or 4 drinks in my system.  I did fine until I had to stop (go figure), at which point I awkwardly stopped the bike and then just fell the fuck over. Hard.  I managed to scrape a nice chunk of skin off of my elbow and get a massive bruise on my hip.  Despite the pain I still chalk this night up to a success because we laughed the whole time and when you're as awkward as I am, you have to take your own clumsiness in stride.

Thursday was a bit more melancholy at first.  I had a lot of work to do but I was having trouble drumming up motivation and that Avril Lavigne song "When You're Gone" came on when I was at Smith's; the song came out when Rob was in Iraq and when I'm in the right mood it just pulls up all these memories and emotions and all I want is to see my husband again and press my forehead against his. I was feeling all sorry for myself while driving and almost hit a beastie running around on the road. I managed to corral her into my car and got her back to her family (the second time I've done that this week!) which really turned my day around.  I also sort of think it's the universe telling me to get another dog, because I was hoping by some weird twist of fate the owners wouldn't want her back and I could keep her for my very own.

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This isn't the dog I rescued, it's Natalie's beast (and Cypress's best friend) Treya.

Sorry for this random post, but I'm really happy to finally be happy and I wanted to share it with you guys.

Tomorrow my friend Amie flies in to stay with us for awhile and it's also my technological detox day.  If you see a post from me tomorrow, I promise it was scheduled. Have a great long weekend, friends!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's That Time Again...

It's "Ask Caitlin Questions" time!

I did a question-answering series last year at some point and I had a lot of fun with it, plus I have some new readers, so I'm back again.

Here's your chance (that I know you've been dying for, obviously) to ask me any question you'd like.  For reals, any question.  I'm a pretty open book and I'm fine with answering just about anything.

I'm debating whether to do this in blog or vlog form, so if you post a question please provide me with your preference.  I'm leaning toward a vlog or a series of vlogs.

Get to it, pretty ladies (and maybe a few gentlemen)!

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Go ahead and ask, bitches.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On Being in a Technology Loop


The other day I read this post on xoJane about shutting off all the technology every now and then and just letting your eyes (and brain) rest after staring at screens constantly.  I've read a lot of posts about "digital detoxes" and I've always read but largely ignored them because WHATEVER YOU GUYS, I DON'T SPEND TOO MUCH TIME ON THE INTERNET.

This time, though, I stopped to think about how much time I spend on an electronic device throughout the day.  A normal daily schedule looks like this:

7:00am: Wake up, instantly grab phone and scan Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
7:15am: Wander into the living room, turn the computer on and check blogs and Facebook again
7:30am: Walk Cypress
8:00am-12:00pm: Work, eat, have X-Files or some other television show on, take intermittent breaks from productivity on Facebook, Twitter, and Bloglovin', text and IM various friends
12:00pm: Walk Cypress
12:30pm: Maybe eat lunch, if I remember
1:00pm-3:30pm: Work/X-Files/Internet Breaks
3:30pm: Walk Cypress.
4:00pm-6:00pm: Finish up work
6:00pm: Dinner (while watching TV)
6:30pm: Walk Cypress
7:00pm-10 or 11:00pm: Watch TV, read blogs, Facebook and Twitter
Bedtime: Play on iPad in bed while watching MST3K

Basically, minus walking Cypress (which I admittedly hurry through) I'm staring at a screen the entire day.  Part of this is due to the fact that I work from home and that my job is firmly entrenched in the world of computers and databases, but the other part is that being online and watching TV makes me feel a little less alone all day and keeps me from worrying or being anxious when Rob's gone, and is kept up more as a habit when he's actually around.

Rob and I have talked a lot about complete abstinence from vices and how it can often cement that vice's power over you. If something appears to actually be interfering with your life but not actually causing physical harm, it needs to be moderated, not obviated entirely. That said, I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to devote one day to a technological detox and get back to the forms of entertainment I would've had access to before the proliferation of advanced technology--books, baths, walks, photography (I'm not counting the camera in the advanced technology since it involves a lot more engagement than staring at a screen), etc.  I can't do this during the work week for obvious reasons, but I think this weekend would be a perfect time to try it out and in the meantime make little tweaks here and there to my daily routine (last night I read a book instead of the iPad/MST3K combination) to avoid ending up like Fred Armisen up there.

The only device I will not give up in its most basic form is my phone.  With Rob gone for 3 weeks, not talking to him would be difficult and would cause too much anxiety to make the whole thing worth it, if that makes sense. Plus my friend Amie is flying in on Saturday and I need to have a general idea what happens with her travel day. I do plan, however, on temporarily deleting my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram apps to keep me from staring mindlessly at my phone all day instead of a computer screen.

I write this here to keep myself accountable and to also get feedback from you guys on your thoughts.  Have you ever done a detox from technology, or any other "vice"? Do you think such temporary detoxes are valuable or pointless?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In Which I Rant About Writing and Other Nonsense

I have had this fucking nagging urge to write lately.  It has been driving me totally insane, like an itch I can't scratch or a vague memory of something I forgot to grab before leaving the house.  The problem is I simply don't have anything I can just write, write, write about.  It's all been written, and that's part of the reason that I've basically just been writing variations on the same theme over and over for the last few weeks; that theme, of course, is "here's what I did today, with a smattering of swear words and self-deprecating humor and maybe a photo of my dog's eyebrows."

I've been perusing various blog posts that have whole lists of things to write about, but I wasn't sure how I could sneak in a post about "my most embarrassing moment" or "the hardest decision I ever had to make" and still sound like me and have it be something that anyone would actually want to read.

I thought of writing a how-to post,  but then I realized that I am completely unversed in every single one of the things within the repertoire of what most bloggers write how-tos about.  I don't paint my nails because I end up constantly splaying my fingers out and generally behaving like a dog in a restrictive sweater.  I rarely put forth the effort to put anything on my face minus far too much chapstick. I spontaneously shaved my head two weeks ago so I can't show you the secret to making that top knot that the kids all seem to like. My outfits are mostly comprised of the cleanest items I can most easily locate in my floordrobe within 5 seconds. I have no desire to thrift furniture and varnish it (is that a thing?) so that it looks older than it was to begin with, nor do I even know how you go about doing such a thing (minus haphazard pencil scrawlings and some well-placed chewed gum, maybe?).

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FUCKING PICTURE OF CANDLES BECAUSE PICTURES BREAK UP THE TEXT AND MAKE YOU LIKE MY BLERG

I thought of writing about marriage, or anxiety, or depression, or how awkward I am and how my clothes don't fit me anymore because I'm losing weight from stress but this all just the same shit you guys read from me every single post and frankly, I just feel bad doing that to you and annoyed with myself for failing so handily at being creative.

This happens every few months or so, this futile struggle against my own brain and my own fears of inadequacy.  I know the words are in me, but at this point they're floating about uselessly like...I don't fucking know, cereal in milk I guess? DO YOU SEE WHERE MY BRAIN IS RIGHT NOW?!

I guess things have gotten so frustrating that I've resorted to writing about thoughts I have while dish washing or just writing about writing, and here we are, the center of the shrubbery maze that is my dysfunction.   Truly, though, I hope you take this post in the spirit it was intended, and, I don't know, give me some suggestions for content or vicious criticism or something.

I wish you all a magical Tuesday filled with love, light, and delicious grilled cheese sandwiches.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thoughts I Had While Washing the Dishes

1. Do sunflower seeds count as a meal if they make my stomach so sick I don't feel like eating anything else?

2. "Millions of peaches, peaches for me, millions of peaches, peaches for free."

3. "Millions of Cypress, Cypress for me, millions of Cypress, Cypress for free."

4. "Catherine Zeta-Joooooones, she dips beneath laserrrrrs, whooooaaaa."

5. Is there any conceivable way I can avoid making dinner tonight?

6. Maybe I shouldn't use the same glass all day, across multiple days.

7. How many glasses do Rob and I currently have in the bedroom? I think 3?

8. I haven't showered today, I bet my hair is greasy. Wait.

9. Cypress needs to walk soon.

10. Where the hell is her collar and leash? I haven't seen the nice ones in days.

11. "Bling bling, that is ghetto FABULOUS!" "This belong to Brooke Astor."

12. When will Scully just listen to Mulder the first time instead of being all lame and patronizing, especially when he's always fucking right.

13. My thought train would make a great blog post, convention and reader interest be damned!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Thoughts on Living in the Present, plus Photos and GIFs!

First off, hi, everyone!

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This is Natalie, isn't she pretty?!

If you can't tell, I just discovered the iPhone app Cinemagram, which lets you make fun animated photos like the above.  Because the novelty has not worn off, here's another one I made of Cypress (pardon the crap quality):

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SO MUCH WAVING.

Anyway, once you've finished staring at those for hours since they are positively hypnotic, let's get on to the post and other thoughts.

A week or so ago I read Nova's post about time passing too quickly and started thinking about how much I take for granted on a daily basis.  I've written about my difficulty with "living in the moment" ad nauseum on this blog, but it's something that is a constant struggle for me so I don't feel lame writing about it even more.

Within the last week or so I realized how quickly this summer has seemed to pass.  Because Rob has been gone so frequently I have spent most of my time wishing away the weeks until he's home again, and as a result of that the summer seems to have completely slipped through my fingers.  When he was home for this last "weekend" I decided to make more of a concerted effort to enjoy each second and minute for its own sake, and now that he's in Idaho for a million years 3 weeks I'm trying to do the same thing despite his absence.  It's tough, however, for alone time to compete with sitting on the patio with Robbie listening to music and watching the sun set.

In her post Nova suggested that carrying her camera helps keep her more "down to earth" and I decided to use my semi-latent camera skills to capture some moments here and there. I know in the last few months I've relied on iPhone photos for my blog posts for the sake of ease, so it felt pretty good to take my time and actually enjoy photography again. I've also been wanting to share a little bit of Santa Fe with you so why not kill two birds with one stone, am I right?

The following photos were taken on a date to the Coyote Cantina, our number one favorite place to eat and favorite lunch date location.

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So there you have it, some "moments." I hope you all had a wonderful week and continue to do just that.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Photoshoot Recap (Photo Heavy, Duh)

So as I told you guys a week or so ago, my friend Natalie and I recently did a dual fashion/boudoir photoshoot together.  Natalie had never had boudoir photos taken "professionally" (I use the term used very loosely) of her and I told her I'd be happy to do it since she's been watching Cypress every weekend I've been gone. Natalie is an absolute natural with getting her photo taken so she was super into it, and photographing a person is always easier when they are into it.

She was kind enough to offer to take some photos of me with my new shaved head. I did a boudoir session a couple of years ago with my good friend Justine, but it was time for an update.  Some of the results are below. Once I've finished editing Natalie's and given them to her, I'll share hers as well so you can see how much better she rocked the black and white dress than I did.

And I know, those shoes. I fall in love with them all over again every time I see them.

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So there you have it.  Who knew I could actually look like a lady sometimes, eh?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bits and Pieces from This Week

I've been pretty absent of late but it's mostly because shit is getting real and what is this I hear about summer almost ending?!

1. Last Saturday my friend Natalie and I did a boudoir/fashion photo shoot together which was so much fun. She brought over an entire box of dress-up outfits (including mink and pearls) and armed with margaritas we took about 600 photos of each other.  Here's one of my favorite photos of me, and I'll make sure to share some more of the safe for work ones when I've finished editing them.

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2. I told Rob via text on Saturday that I had shaved my head. Turns out I'd picked the worst possible time in the entire 9 1/2 years we've been together to tell him.  He had worked all day and was feeling exhausted, cranky and fed up with frolicking in the woods away from home all summer.  As a result he snapped a bit a lot and lashed out at me.  Apparently I can't handle shit like that and I kind of broke down.  I'm ashamed to admit it but I was near-catatonic for an unhealthy portion of the weekend and I could barely get out of bed.  Not my best.  Anyway the next day he explained and apologized profusely, unexpectedly came home after 11 days on a fire, and assured me that while he's not a huge fan of the baldness he's taking a "well it's your head" approach. No harm no foul.  I debated even mentioning it, but I'm honest with you guys, and life isn't always sunshine and roses.

3. Speaking of Rob and fire, apparently (barring any stupid federal job bullshit) the next fire roll he goes out on will be his LAST FUCKING FIRE ROLL.  That means after another two weeks in Bummertown, I will have my husband back for 6 whole goddamn months. I am so excited. This summer has been rough, but if it was at all possible I feel even closer to Rob and even more excited for whatever's next for us.

4. Rob and I have decided to take a trip to Ireland in October and I could not be more excited. Well, that's not true, I could be more excited if my most recent passport photo didn't make me inexplicably resemble a fat Justin Bieber. BUT ANYWAY. We booked a room at a celiac-friendly bed and breakfast in Southwestern Ireland (for reals, they even have a separate toaster for gluten-free bread) within walking distance of bars and awesome gluten-free friendly restaurants and hikes by the ocean.  Rob and I have (shockingly) never traveled internationally together so I am so fucking pumped.

Well that's our week so far, how are you guys doing?

Monday, August 20, 2012

We'll Never See the Links of You Again

You Rather: A Game of Preference. Warning: this is super addicting.

Wouldn't it be great if we had footage of Mitt Romney denouncing his own newly-adopted pro-life agenda? OH WAIT.

What Can Mississippi learn from Iran? - I don't know how anyone could read this article and still believe that the US should not have universal healthcare.

I like this post about not censoring yourself. (via Suzy)

This is how Olympic divers really look while diving. (Yeah, I know, the Olympics are over, whatevs)

Sculptures Popping Out of Paintings.

Awesome art school ads.

23 Things We Should Just Forget about the 90s.

Disasterland: Disney Characters in Adult Situations. (via Nova)

Love this Tumblr - Kate Middleton for the Win. I think it's so hilarious because Kate Middleton is so clearly awesome and sweet.

Photoshopped Celebrity "Make-Unders".

5 Ways to Save Some Fucking Money.

9 Lists to Keep Updated, and Keep Handy.

I liked this letter from a professor taking his students to task for "religious bigotry."

Monstrous Discrepancies.

Epic Video Game Movie Posters.

Netflix envelope art.

53 Arrested Development Jokes You Probably Missed.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

6 Months in Santa Fe

Robbie and I are coming up on six whole months living in Santa Fe which is absolutely mind-boggling to me.  It feels like just yesterday--or maybe like, 3 months ago at most--that we packed up all our earthly shit (and threw away even more earthly shit) and drove across this great nation of ours to our new life in the desert.

We've been through a lot so far--many tears, lots of laughter, tons of Netflix episodes--and all in all it's been pretty great.  I think it's going to be pretty badass to casually say later that "oh yeah, we lived in Santa Fe for a couple of years."

I figured I'd recap our six months in a list of what I really like and what I do not like about living here in Santa Fe.

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What is Awesome about Living in Santa Fe

1. The Food: Jesus, guys, the food here is just bananas.  I think that I have been permanently ruined on Mexican food and margaritas for the rest of my life because of all the amazing shit we've eaten here.  So far, every restaurant I've been to has some knowledge of gluten and minus one non-gluten-related food poisoning, I haven't had a bad reaction yet.  If Rob were helping me write this post, he'd want me to throw in here that you can't really get a great pizza and I'd agree with that.  We're East Coasters so we know pizza, or at least I did before this whole celiac thing.

2. The Absence of Bugs: Yeah, I know, camel spiders and shit.  But honestly, I'll take the occasional camel spider, tarantula, or scary beetle if it means no black flies for mosquitoes.  I love that we can sit on our patio in the evening, sipping a margarita and chatting without hurrying inside, burning our nostrils with caustic bug spray, or itching our skin off.

3. The Weather: I'm probably going to put this in my "dislike" list as well to be honest. I've decided that I like dry heat over humidity since it's more easily escaped (just get in the shade!), and I like that we have lots of warm days but will still have cool fall days.

4. The Diversity: Maine has a very homogenous population, both in race (98% white, one of the whitest in the country I believe) and in cultural background.  The state has many wonderful things but does not have much in the way of cultural diversity (Rob and I talk often about how Maine is basically one small town).  Contrast that with Santa Fe, and in a broader sense New Mexico, which is much more of a cultural and ethnic mix.  There are Native Americans (some of whom still speak their original language), Native Spanish, Latin-Americans, white people, African-American people, and lots more.  The city has lots of cultural events aimed at educating, empowering, and understanding other cultures--perhaps to try to counterbalance the state and nation's history of annihilating the culture of Native peoples--and it's been really interesting to see how this affects Santa Fean culture as a whole.

5. The Scenery: Rob would vehemently disagree with me on this one since he's more partial to Maine. I love Maine and think it's gorgeous, but Santa Fe is also gorgeous, just in a different way.  I love how the sky is so massive here, unobstructed by trees, and how you can see for miles and miles.

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What is Kind of Lame about Living in Santa Fe

1. The Weather: Hey, I warned you it would come up again. The sun is absolutely blistering here.  I can't remember the last time I've dreaded going outside because of the heat.  Dry cold is also a little tough to deal with.

2. The Crime: We haven't seen as much crime in Santa Fe as, say, Albuquerque, but it has been a little bit of a shock to us down-home Mainers.  The whole one-big-small-town thing combined with the comparatively tiny population of Maine means that murders are rare and are a huge deal when they do happen. Here on the news it seems like someone's getting killed in New Mexico every day.

3. The Traffic: This is yet another list item that screams "I'm from the middle of nowhere!" In Maine it may take 20 minutes to get to the grocery store, but that's because the grocery store is far away from your house.  Here it takes 25 or 30 to get to a much closer grocery store because of endless traffic and a million traffic lights.

4. The Drivers: Good lord, Santa Fe drivers. Except for a few trips to Florida, I have never seen so many slow-ass people driving in the left lane as I have here.  The crazy thing is, though, that they all drive slow as hell until the light turns yellow or solid fucking red and then they speed through the light.  Seriously, everyone who comes here notices right away how frequently people run red lights in this city. It's so common that I've started to wait for several seconds after a light turns green before I go, and never turn left as the light is turning yellow for fear of getting side-swiped.  It isn't this way in Albuquerque or anywhere else I've been, just Santa Fe.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Some More Randomness from my Bald Head

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Yep, still bald.

I feel like the majority of my blog posts lately have been long, rambling epistles about things I've been up to lately. If you're intensely bored by these types of posts, you probably should skip this one.

So as you guys know from Wednesday's post, there has been a whole lot of spontaneity going on here in Chez Caitlin and Rob. I am loving being bald.  I get stared at a lot, but I got used to that once I started getting visible tattoos, and at least no one is rubbing my head or asking invasive questions.  I think this is mostly due to the fact that everyone assumes I have cancer, and I guess that's just outside the realm of acceptable things to ask a total stranger.  Rob isn't home and has no idea that I did it, which is honestly making me a little anxious.

In the spirit of true spontaneity, the other day I bought the most ridiculous, impractical shoes on the face of the earth.  I have no idea where or in what context I'll wear them, but they were just too gorgeous (and too on sale) to pass up.  I never buy shit like this so I felt I was well within my rights.

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It'll probably surprise many of you that I have a strong affection for ridiculous stilettos, especially given my personal style which can best be described as "Liz Lemon chic." I don't know what it is, but really sexy pumps just make me swoon.  It's not a foot fetish, I promise, and if you don't believe me just keep in mind that the only shoes my husband wears are beat-up Sambas and running shoes.   I will admit, however, that I've been wearing these around the house trying to become more adept at walking in them.  I stomp around like a gorilla in heels usually but YouTube videos on the subject have helped.

On Thursday night I drove to Albuquerque all by my lonesome to see RiffTrax Live.  It was so awesome.  So many fabulous, noisy nerds.  The movie they did, "Manos: The Hands of Fate" was so abysmal as to be hilarious in its own right even without the riffing. I'm hoping to go to their next show in October if we're around.

I know I bring up the X-Files in like, every single post lately, but can I just say how much I love the 1990s topical references?  Earlier today I watched an episode in which Mulder referenced the Spice Girls and two people just told Walter Skinner he was "lucky he didn't get his ear bit off" while boxing.  Weren't the 1990s great?

Other than all that life has been pretty boring here in the city of Holy Faith. My stomach hates me, presumably due to the lunches consisting of sunflower seeds and the dinners consisting of Gusher-filled pancakes, so I'm laying low until it gets back to normal. Do you guys have anything planned for the weekend? DO TELL because I'd like to live vicariously through you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On Hair, or a Distinct Lack Thereof

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you already know that this happened:

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Yep, I shaved my head. Yep, my shirt says "Kiss Me" in Spanish. Nope, Rob doesn't know.

Basically I decided to shave my head, and shortly thereafter had my friend Natalie shave it.  I'm not sick, I'm not making a point, I just wanted to shave my head and here it is in all its awesomeness.  And I love it, like seriously love it.  My head feels light and cool and awesome. 

Have a lovely Wednesday all!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wee-oo Wee-oo Body Police!

A few weeks ago in Chicago I was walking down the street in shorts and a t-shirt and a young gentleman stopped me to tell me I that my "tat" was awesome.  I don't mind people looking or making (kind) comments at my tattoos generally so I said thank you with a nervous laugh and kept walking.  He then told me, "it looks so sexy, your legs are so sexy" and proceeded to follow me down the block asking for my name and where I'm from.  I'm embarrassed to tell you that I told him in short one-word answers because I'm a Passive Patsy and suck at telling strangers to fuck right off.

I will stress this again: I really and truly do not mind people coming up to me and complimenting or asking about my tattoos.  In fact, just after my experience with "legs so sexy" guy I had another gentleman tell me that my leg tattoo was beautiful and asked who it had been done by.  No touching, no weird "compliments" about my legs, just genuine human conversation. It's the sexualization of my body by a complete and total stranger and the implied assumption that I'd leap into bed with him for being so complimentary that makes this a whole other beast.

I know that there are those who have experienced much worse than this (I read an article on xoJane about women who've been groped and rubbed against on public transportation, how does this shit happen?!) but it nonetheless got me thinking about the idea of body policing.

This isn't new to me at least since I started getting visible tattoos.  I've been grabbed and my tattoos have been stroked, I guess because people half-expect it to not just feel like skin.  For some reason, people feel that they are entitled and even invited to make comments and invade personal space under the guise of flattery or honesty or some other guise I don't understand.

This isn't new to a lot of friends I have, either.  Like you all I have friends who are short, tall, skinny, overweight, tattooed, non-tattooed, short-haired, and long-haired; no matter what adjective can be nailed to them they still receive unwanted attention, comments, and physical contact. Even online, there is a constant running commentary of what you could possibly be doing right or wrong with your body, be it tattooing your skin, eating too much, eating too little, dressing too provocatively, dressing like a prude, having too much or too little sex.

The only thread that binds this criticism--both positive and negative--is that it is almost uniformly directed toward women.

I doubt I have to tell you that my husband, a combat veteran and wildland firefighter with a kickass set of pecs, has never once been grabbed or stroked for his tattoos or for any other reason. His body has never been commented on in public by a stranger.  No one has ever suggested he lose weight or eat more or be taller or be shorter (all of which has happened to friends of mine).  And if he ever was accosted in such a way, I doubt he'd be expected to take it as complimentary and not just downright fucking weird and invasive. Nor would be considered an uptight asshole if he threatened to punch the person square in the face.

I guess what bothers me about the whole thing is that we as women are taught that we should more or less expect this kind of behavior and that it is our responsibility to take steps to avoid it. I'll be honest that after my run-in with "legs so sexy" I thought to myself, "I really shouldn't wear shorts and a tank top since all my tattoos show and I'm just inviting more harassment from creeps." That is complete and utter bullshit.  As a woman and indeed as a person, I should in theory be able to walk down the street wearing whatever the hell I want without fear of harassment--and if harassment does come, the blame for it should never fall on anyone else's shoulders but the harasser's.

A woman's body is her own, just as a man's body is his own, and we should all have reasonable expectations that our boundaries will be respected.  This is what we need to be teaching our daughters and in particular our sons, for that is where the change will hopefully come in time.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Currently

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Loving: Cooler days.  For all the bitching I did about the winter in Maine--and I definitely did my fair share of bitching--the summer heat here was just getting to me. I got crazy heat rashes that burned in the sun (only around my elbows for some reason), my skin (and in particular my tattooed skin) was so slathered in sunscreen all day that I developed zits and rashes, and somehow, despite SPF 70, I developed my first tan ever. Walking the dog was a downright chore. Happily now that monsoon season has come, we have more days that are in the high 70s and low 80s rather than the mid-90s. Don't get me wrong, I'll still be bitching once the temperature gets down to 30 again.

Reading: Still reading the collection of Ray Bradbury's short stories; it's huge and is taking forever.

Watching: X-Files and Breaking Bad. Rob and I finally caught up with the current season so I can actually watch with the normal people now.

Thinking About: Work, mostly, and the winter.  We're planning a bunch of trips and I'm so excited to have Rob around 24/7 again.

Anticipating: A potential trip to Denver this weekend to visit a friend! I'm super excited to get out of town, assuming Robbie's not home.  I'm also anticipating Rifftrax Live in Albuquerque on Thursday, because it, too, shall be awesome.

Listening To: Hank Williams III mostly.  His songs about crazy drug binges really speak to my experience.  Just kidding, they just make me laugh. Also listening to the X-Files all day while I work...I like having the TV on when Rob's gone because it makes me feel a little less alone.

Working On: Some tutorials for work.  And also working on staying sane while Robbie's gone, which is always an uphill battle.

Wishing: That Robbie would come home in time for him to see Rifftrax Live with me next week.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sickness, Santa Fe Fires, and Surprise Nights Off

I always enjoy alliterative post titles, don't you?

Anyway our last few days have been full of all of the things I list in the title.  First off, we went out to eat at the Zia Diner, which has been a frequent eatery of ours in the last few months.  I had nachos and Rob had chile cheese fries with wings.  For at least 2-3 days later, we both had symptoms of food poisoning. Let's just say that ours was not a fun house to spend time in.  We were together, though, so I can't really complain. The best food poisoning is shared food poisoning, am I right?

Don't worry, I won't share pictures.

The fire "weekend" ended on Thursday and Robbie went back to work on Friday.  It was hard, but for some reason not nearly as hard as it's been in past times.  Frankly I was kind of hoping he'd go out quickly because I've learned that the sooner he goes out, the sooner he comes back. On Friday they told us that Rob was unavailable--not on call--until the following day, Saturday.  Of course, my husband chooses government jobs, and he wasn't available on Friday...until he was.  He got sent to a fire in the Santa Fe ski basin for the night and was set to head to Arizona on Saturday morning.

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But remember that whole government job thing I was talking about so long ago, in that last paragraph? Sometimes, just sometimes, the unpredictability works in your favor.  The buggy Rob's squad drives in broke down in the parking lot as they were heading to Arizona, and because it was so late in the day they let them come home for a night before leaving at 5a.m. on Sunday.  It was really, really fucking awesome to get a whole other unexpected night to snuggle, catch up on "Breaking Bad," eat a dinner of pizza and breakfast sammies, and watch MST3K together.  Some nights we're together we're both so present and I'm reminded of how lucky we are to be so fucking in love, and that we as humans invented italics so that I could stress how awesome it is in a blog post.

Anyway, like it always does, our evening ended and now I'm back to where I was, sitting on the couch and watching X-Files episodes.

As a side note, you know how long I've been watching X-Files? I'm not even halfway through the episodes on Netflix.

I hope you are all having a stellar weekend.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Languages of Love

In therapy the other day I was talking to my therapist about the idea of the Five Love Languages.  If you haven't heard of it, basically it's a way to describe how we communicate to and with our significant others.  From what my therapist told me, it's a pretty solid concept that's been monetized into a schmaltzy book series with a heavy religious push, but I'm just focusing on the concept for now.

Essentially the theory is that each of us has a particular "love language" and respond best when our significant other communicates with us in that particular love language.  Lapses come when we try to communicate with our partner in our love language and unknowingly ignore what their love language is. That's a really clunky description but hopefully it makes sense.

The five languages are pretty self-explanatory: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Gifts, and Quality Time.

I'm not usually one to latch onto fad concepts like this but I did find some truth in it for Rob and I.  I knew right away that my primary "language" according to this concept was Words of Affirmation.  Nothing makes me happier than when Robbie tells me he loves me, or can't wait to see me again, or is proud of me.  In turn, I tend to flood Rob with Words of Affirmation despite the fact that it doesn't really seem to affect him in the same way that it affects me, because I assume that it'll make him feel loved.

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Lesson: Don't try to communicate with him when he's sleeping.

We took a quiz together and turns out that my languages are "Words of Affirmation" (bingo) and "Quality Time," basically spending time one-on-one doing anything and everything.  Robbie's results were more or less what I expected--Quality Time and Physical Touch.  I love that we share one language, especially because it helps to explain why we're happier spending time alone doing nothing than out and about with others.  

Anyway I'm not trying to push this concept or the book; really I just wanted to share it with you because it's something I've been giving a lot of thought to of late and I think it's already affected to some extent how I communicate with Rob.  Just goes to show that there's always something new to learn about yourself and your partner.

If you're interested in taking the quiz, this is the one we took. I'm not sure it's particularly well-crafted, it seems to fixture mostly on the Gifts language, but our results were pretty correct I think.

Have you ever read anything about this concept? Does it seem truthful or nonsensical?

Friday, August 10, 2012

If You Really Knew Me

I've been seeing these posts out and about and I hesitated jumping on the bandwagon, mostly because I share pretty much everything with you guys (sorry about that, by the way) and it might be hard for me to come up with shit you don't already know.  But hey, I'm up for a challenge, and I have a few new readers, so here goes.

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This is officially my go-to picture for awkward posts.

If You Really Knew Me, You'd Know...

1. My rib cage is asymmetrical.  Rob and I actually just noticed this one, and most of my real-life friends don't know it so maybe it doesn't really belong on the list. ANYWAY.  The left side of my rib cage...ends? I guess?...higher then the right side.  I've looked it up and apparently this can be a sign of scoliosis (with which I've never been diagnosed), but Rob's best guess is that due to the kidney-sized hole left by a tumor and subsequent nephrectomy at a very young age my ribcage developed differently on that side. I wanted to ask my doctor about it out of pure curiosity, but I'd already asked her about the possibility of other autoimmune diseases because of my celiac disease and I didn't want to seem like a hypochondriac. I debated showing you guys a photo but decided that might just be too awkward.

2. When it comes to crushes on famous people, I tend to skew older. Right now it's a tie between Bruce Springsteen (63) and Mike Ness (50).

3.  I love documentaries and nonfiction books (especially true crime), mostly because drama and suspense tend to stress me out. This is also the reason that I tend to watch the same shows and movies over and over rather than branch out.

4. I swear a lot.  Rob and I both do. It's such a bad habit but I figure we have a few years before kids and might as well take advantage of the freedom.

5. I think a few of you know this, but I have a phobia of trains and train crossings. There are a few very active crossings her in Santa Fe so this has been a tough one in the last 6 months.

6. I like the process of getting tattoos. The pain sucks, sure, but I like how "present" it makes me feel (sounds weird, I know) and I love working with an artist to get exactly what I want, or sometimes, exactly what I didn't know I wanted.  Call me crazy.

If you decide to jump on the honesty bandwagon, leave me the link in the comments!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Things That Are Making Me Happy This Week

1. My Robbie is home!

Pretty self-explanatory. Rob came home after 14 days on Sunday and it's been simply marvelous having him home again.  Yesterday he took me out to lunch at the Coyote Cafe which I'm pretty sure Jesus would've eaten at if he was in Santa Fe (some people here will tell you that he was, by the way). Jesus might not have partaken in the prickly pear margaritas that Rob and I had, but he probably should've.

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Side note: I asked the waitress, and this color is apparently totally legit, as in no artificial colorings or anything.  Prickly pear puree is just this color naturally.
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2. Caitlin and Rob Hammock Time!

Turns out Rob isn't a huge fan of the hammock because of his back, but we still got in some double-hammock time together which made me pretty happy indeed. Also, ignore how manly my legs look, please.

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3. New Tattoos and Famous People and Things!

I told you in my last post about my new tattoo, which was pretty painful compared to the others (it's on my inner bicep) and is actually and oddly still painful several days later, but is nonetheless awesome and I can't stop staring at it.  Yesterday afternoon I sent a picture of the tattoo through Twitter to Dan Andriano, who wrote and sings the song "This Light" that inspired the tattoo and its meaning.  Last night we were watching TV and I got his response, which I think was pretty fucking cool of him.  I had a big-ass grin on my face all night.

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4. The Olympics, I guess!

I've never been all that much into the Summer Olympics but I like watching them with Robbie. I told him that I want to run a race with one of those sprinters and just see from above how ridiculous it would look. We also make up words to explain things that the athletes do wrong to sound like we know what we're talking about. FUN TIMES.

5. Birthday Week!

As most of you know, Rob and I are strong believers in Birthday Week.  We decided last year to only do it when one of us reached the latter half of a decade (i.e., 26) or when we hit a decade (30), but now we're just doing it every year.  This week Rob gets to decide what and where we eat, gets out of doing most chores (especially the dishes), and can dictate any activities we do outside the house.  Plus we both exclaim at various times, "Birthday week!" It's truly a magical time.

What's making you all happy this week?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Yet Another Post About Nothing

You gotta love a post about nothing.

I've decided that more bloggers need to free-write.  I'm kind of over the whole 'having to plan an entire post with readers in mind' thing.  Maybe that's not new, though. Maybe no one else worries about that shit anymore.  Wouldn't surprise me, because I'm usually behind on these things. And, well...everything, I guess.

It's 1:30am and I am wide the hell awake for some reason.  You know how sometimes you try to sleep and your bed feels like the absolute least comfortable place you could be at that moment? THAT THING.  I'm watching Eddie Izzard's "Circle" special on the Netflixes which is hilarious and I'm snuggled in Rob's Army poncho liner because the air conditioner makes my house too cold. Warmest thing in the world, that poncho liner, by the way.

I've had a busy couple of weekends which has been awesome-pants (totally going to try to get that phrase started) because Rob comes home tomorrow (or technically today I guess) and staying busy is what needs to happen (other parenthetical statement). I've been rained on and went swimming in Abiquiu Lake, got a new tattoo and drank a prickly pear margarita at a convention in Albuquerque, bought some local art in downtown Santa Fe, and checked out the Science Museum up in Los Alamos, where the Manhattan Project was based.

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Funny thing about the Science Museum--it's run by the government since the Los Alamos lab is actually a national lab. We watched a video about the Manhattan Project that really awkwardly skipped past the whole, you know, bombs-dropping-and-killing-people thing and focused more on the awesome martini soirees the scientists held while their countrymen were fighting and dying in World War II. I mean why deal with the massive world-changing implications of your actions when you can just wear awesome '40s clothes and hairstyles and drink martinis, am I right?

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Forgive me for bringing up X-Files for the second time in my Posts About Nothing, but what on earth is Scully's deal?! Bitch has seen some crazy shit with her own eyes, and yet each episode when Mulder suggests that maybe, just maybe, some paranormal activity is responsible, and she acts all condescending and lame? I hate that "Mul-DER!" tone she has.  HE'S ALWAYS RIGHT, why do you doubt him every single goddamn time?! Rob thinks that it's probably more pronounced to me because I'm watching them all in a row, but I think a girl has a right to expect some measure of continuity.

Can you tell I'm home alone a lot?

Oh hey, before I forget, my darling husband turns 27 today! He's officially in his late 20s, though he'd argue with me on that point if he wasn't all the way in Colorado. He should arrive home later which is great because he'll be just in time for birthday week. 

Look, a rainbow!

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A New Favorite Author

Unlike apparently the rest of my countrymen and women, I was never required to read Fahrenheit 451 in high school and to this day have yet to read it.

A couple of months ago when Ray Bradbury passed away, my father-in-law recommended the book "The Illustrated Man" to me, which I bought on a whim at our local bookstore with Robbie one day.  I'd never spent much time reading sci-fi so I went into it unsure of what I'd think.


If you haven't read "The Illustrated Man," the book centers around a man in a circus act who is covered in tattooed illustrations, each of which depicts a different story that changes when one watches the illustration move.  The entire book is composed of the short stories that these illustrations tell--each story is different, with different characters, settings, plots, motifs, and messages.

I hate to sound crass especially in reference to such important literature, but I'm honest with you guys, and this book and Ray Bradbury rocked my fucking world. Never ever have I been so drawn in, so disturbed, so amused by short stories.  Each story, few spanning more than 10 pages, had me absolutely engrossed.  The amazing thing is how timeless they seemed, an impressive feat given that the book was published in 1951 and that many of them reference complex technology that only existed at the time in Bradbury's mind. And though most of the stories are based in science fiction, others touch on a plethora of other topics, each just as well-written as the last.

I passed the book along to Robbie after I read it and I think he was almost as equally moved as I was, particularly by a story called "The Rocket Man." Because I felt like I needed even more of Bradbury's stories, I promptly bought a large 900-page volume of short stories that weren't in "The Illustrated Man."

I'll spare you more of my excited babbling about how amazing Ray Bradbury is, but if you don't mind I'd like to share some of the passages that have moved me the most. A few of these passages are from "The Illustrated Man" and others are from the other collection of Bradbury stories I bought.

From "The Rocket Man":

   I asked Mother about a few things that morning after Father had been gone a number of hours. "Dad said that sometimes you don't act as if you hear or see him," I said. 
  And then she explained everything to me quietly. 
 "When he went off into space ten years ago, I said to myself, 'He's dead.' Or as good as dead. So think of him dead. And when he comes back, three or four times a year, it's not him at all, it's only a pleasant little memory or a dream. And if a memory stops or a dream stops, it can't hurt half as much. So most of the time I think of him dead-" 
 "But other times-" 
  "Other times I can't help myself. I bake pies and treat him as if he were alive, and then it hurts. No, it's better to think he hasn't been here for ten years and I'll never see him again. It doesn't hurt as much." 

From "No Particular Night or Morning":

“We're all fools," said Clemens, "all the time. It's just we're a different kind each day. We think, I'm not a fool today. I've learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes, we were a fool today too. I think the only way we can grow and get on in this world is to accept the fact we're not perfect and live accordingly.”


From "The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair":

"From that twilight hour on the piano stairs on, their days were long, heedless, and full of that amazing laughter that paces the beginning and the run-along rush of any great love affair.  They stopped laughing long enough to kiss and only stopped kissing long enough to laugh at how odd and miraculous it was to find themselves with no clothes to wear in the middle of a bed as vast as life and as beautiful as morning."

"I think it's our mouths," he said. "Until I met you, I never knew I had a mouth. Yours is the most amazing in the world, and it makes me feel as if mine were amazing, too. Were you ever really kissed before I kissed you?"
   "Never!"
   "Nor was I. To have lived this long and not known mouths."
   "Dear mouth," she said. "shut up and kiss."


That's all I will share for now to spare your eyes. Have any of you read Ray Bradbury, or any other sci-fi author?