(Posting this a tad late. But it still makes me lol.)

[TW for graphic imagery, language]

 

BetaC Mystery Theatre Presents..

If Carrot Juice is Murder …

 

Tonight’s victims:

(cue ominous music, dramatic drum beats)

(maniacal laughter)

 

In a backwater suburb overlooking a small creek in a town just like yours or mine, there is a green house with a red door, brass doorknocker and a quaint white porch. The picket fence all but radiates tranquil suburban normality. But, once a year, as the fall winds to a close and the snowflakes start to blow along these quiet side streets, people report feeling something different as they walk past the otherwise completely ordinary house.

Known only as “The Postmistress”, this serial squash killer claims another victim.  The local police are baffled, and the witnesses can only look furtively over thir shoulders at the unassuming green house. “She might be invloved …”

Some point to the sheer amount of the carnage that crops up in this sleepy little community once a year and speculate that there cannot possibly be but one killer out there. “She must have had help,” theorises Officer Boutellier. “There’s not a lot of opportunities to commit crimes of this nature, she may have someone create a distraction, or perhaps supply her with her victims.”  What the Officer doesn’t know is that some accomplices are not content to merely aid their partners in crime …

“Larry was a fixture in the community,” said one neighbour, when questioned. “He liked to walk his dog by the river on Sundays. I never dreamed this would happen to him!”

Janine knew that life in the business world carried a risk of backstabbing. She never expected it to happen like this, though.

“It’s a crying shame, ” said neighbour Willa Spencer. “Lt. Chubbins had just retired.”

 The slaughter over, the fiend appears to have retreated back into a quiet, unassuming life. Businesses and lives on Spiller Road continue as they always have, people out strolling and taking in the last of the late sunshine, parents and children putting up lights and decorations together or doing a last minute cleanup of the yeard before the first big snowfall. All appears to be completely normal, with only a few telltale orange stains on a sidewalk or porch to indicate anying unnatural has ever happened here.  There may only be a few subtle hints of the horror that lurks within the tidy little cottage at the end of the lane. Lurks, and waits. Until next year.

Fin

I love pumpkin geekery!

My perennial favourite:

This year’s addition:

Some math:

And finally, my plans for this year entail an amazing Starbuck and Apollo and a classic Spock for the mister. Both from Pink Raygun.

Pictures of the burnt offerings to follow.

I initially started this blog as place to talk about my encounters with feminism and my thoughts on said encounters.

I’m sure you can see how well that went. A combination of not feeling like I’m really qualified to speak on the Weighty Matter of Feminism, another blog that I have been writing for and just general Life Getting in the Way has kept me from really doing anything here.

Because of all the Life in the Way horseshit, I’ve also more or less abandoned any sort of writing at all – and that will just not do. I need to write, it’s one of the few things I do that I really feel I have a talent for, and the operation of putting my thoughts and feelings into coherent words and legible sentences is cathartic and soothing.

So we’re going to switch gears here a little, and turn this lovely blog into more of a persona blog. There will be geology. And there will be feminism. And there will be adventures in Scotch sampling. And scrapbooking. And Ways I Almost Set Fire to the Kitchen. I don’t think this is at all so much as a rebirth (reboot?) as it is an expanding of my original mission. To tell my stories – whatever they may be – and to tell them loud.

Enjoy!

I went out on a field project recently. It was in an area of geology that is a little outside my familiar zone, so I was super excited to get a chance to do something that wasn’t sand sand sand and more sand. I was tossed into the mix with another geologist I sorta knew from around the office and a third year engineering student – both male. We barely knew each other and there was very little chatter during the 12 hour drive tot he site, the other geo and I being pretty taciturn sorts. And it was a 12 hour drive. So we left early and I slept a lot. When I wasn’t driving a jesus big truck loaded with all our personal gear and equiptment.

When we stopped for lunch, there was a young, good looking blonde woman working at the restaurant, cleaning the windows on the front of the place. We sat inside near the window so that we could keep an eye on our truck and all the equiptment in the back. The young engineer made a comment to the older geo to the effect that he had made a good choice picking a seat where they could watch the blonde woman.

Misogyny as male bonding – and in a professional situation to boot.

To the geo’s credit, he just gave the engineer a bit of an askance look and continued on with his meal. He had already demonstrated some pretty obvious douchbag signs on the trip – notably a fondness for the satellite radio Maxim station – but I think that his choice to ignore the misogyny was based more on his slavish devotion to looking like a professional at all times, rather than any real condemnation of the act itself.

I felt bad for the engineer, to some degree though. He’s young, he’s tossed into a field situation for the very first time with two pretty standoffish older professionals, he’s likely intimidated and scared and very obviously unsure of his place and his role. He’s a student, and a rookie in the field, so he’s obviously lower on the totem pole in those respects, but he’s also an engineer and a dood – so maybe he does rank higher than I do. He’s trying to figure out his place. Obviously the older male geo is in the charge of the project – we’ve been told that flat out. But how does the engineer relate to him? How does the engineer relate to me? Is a comment like that meant to test the waters on both fronts? Will the male geo nod and smile in dudebro solidarity? Will the female geo react like a ‘hysterical bitch’ or just nod and smile in (the often subconsciously self-protective) way that indicates subservience to the patriarchy?

He’s had very few clues from either of the two more senior people on this project that would show him how to behave. I infer from his mannerisms that he’s had very little non-engineer socialization in school period. But some where along the line he got the idea that when faced with a situation of mixed genders, and a male obviously in charge, the default topics of conversation must necessarily be dudebro oriented.

Male as the default, female as the other – white, hetero, cis-sexual experience as the level playing field that anyone at all can relate to. It’s a sad – and sadly too common experience. I’m not surprised, I’m not shocked. I’m not even all that upset. To me it feels like coming home to find the puppy has made a mess on the rug. It’s young, it doesn’t know better. It needs to be taught differently.

Why the entire socialization process throughout this young engineer’s life hasn’t already taught him how not to be a misogynistic douchecanoe is likely the question to be asking. I’m guessing it’s an artifact of his privledge that he’s never been forced to interact with a female in a way not of his choosing – and likely not without the support of his (engineer) dudebros. That’s something that’s going to have to change – and fast – if he wants to work at my company, but not something that he will be even forced to change – or even entertain the notion that his behaviour is wrong – outside of this small field project. I’d be willing to bet that when just the young engineer and the older geo are all alone in their little dude-centric world (they’re on nights, the female geo on loan from the American office and I are on days – woo for 12 hour shifts!), the misogyny can really flourish. And I’m willing to be that that is the training that he will take away from this project.

And it’s asked why we even need feminism anymore.

More Senior Colleage: I had such a great working relationship with my drillers. We were the best of friends! They adored me! They even gave me a pink hardhat and I loved it!

American Colleague: (derision) I would never have worn that hardhat! That’s stupid. I’d hate to be identified as some pink hardhat wearing person.

Me: (nods in agreement with American Colleague.) I know, she’s such a girl for wearing that.

Later on, I thought to myself that I did really want that hard hat. I would love a pink hard hat. I wanted to wear it and I wanted to wear it happily. I wanted the approval of my American Colleague more, so I nodded and smiled and went along with her (frankly) anti-feminist views about what sort of women would wear pink on a field project.

This kind of woman.

I don’t want to flaunt my femininity, because I feel that would lead to more problems than I could handle – not the least of which would be the loss of respect from my colleagues, co-contractors and drilling team for being a ‘girly girl’ but then I think to myself, “goddammit I am a woman, why am I playing at being something other than?” I shouldn’t be ashamed of it, I shouldn’t be shamed into hiding it or groveling for approval by pretending to be someone I’m not so that I’m seen as ‘one of the guys’ and not really one of those icky, silly, useless (except for fucking) girls.

It’s a no-win situation. However I chose to perform my gender I’m not going to make someone happy. I’m too femme for field. I’m too butch for the office. It doesn’t matter what I do, I’m not going to conform to someone’sidea of what I should be doing.

So, I make myself happy. I feel better when I have my makeup on when I’m in the field. I feel better when I wear flats instead of stiletto heels in the office. I am trying hard not to give a fuck what people think of me. I am a good geologist, and I know that. I do my job in the field, I do my job in the office and I do it damn well. Take issue with my pink hard hat, take issue with my jeans in the office – I don’t care. My science speaks for itself and I’m done letting the approval of other people determine what I should look like or sound like or act like while I’m doing my job.

For the most part.

I am a scientist.
I am a butcher.
I am a gamer.
I am a tomboy.
I am a person who doesn’t suffer fools.
I am erudite.
I am no nonsense.
I am tough.
I am talented.
I am ambitious.
I am a provider.

I am not a princess.
I am not a girly-girl.
I am not a wife.
I am not a mother.
I am not a woman who likes other women very much.

I am an anti-feminist.

This must change. It must. I have been shown what I am, who I have become, the wake I leave as I move through the world discounting the women around me and performing for the patriarchy in a desperate bid for approval. I am playing a game I cannot win and I am creating a player I don’t even like anymore.

I will become an activist. A womanist. A feminist. Someone who knows what true gender equality looks like, sounds like, smells like. I will recognize it and I will laud it and where it does not exist I will work for it.

It must be done.

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