Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hey, my eyes are up here! Talking big boobs, Darwin and God

Thanks to the internet, I’ve been thinking about my boobs. And Charles Darwin. And God. And what I would say if I could sit them both down for a little chat...which, I swear, is not as messed up as it sounds.


It all started when someone sent me a not-at-all-funny meme that said “You know you’ve got big boobs if washing the dishes gives you a backache.” I thought about it and realized, “yes, washing dishes DOES in fact, give me a backache. Now that I’ve acknowledged this, am I supposed to get the joke?” It was a seriously terrible meme; the artwork wasn’t even good, but whatever. For the purposes of today’s blog, we shall henceforth refer to this awful meme as EXHIBIT D.


Jump forward a couple of weeks. During the dark days of winter, aka the mid-season hiatus of The Walking Dead, I’ve been watching a lot of shows on the science-y channels to try to fill the zombie void. One of those science-y channels aired some shows about Evolution. They covered the basics, like how according to Darwin, physical traits that have promoted health/strength/longevity have been passed on to future generations, while traits that were detrimental eventually disappeared due to death by the weak and/or how selective mate-picking (the prehistoric equivalent of eHarmony) would mean the less desirables didn’t get lucky enough to pass on their DNA. And it got me to thinking….


Author’s note: At this point I feel the need to warn you that whether you’re a Creationist or an Evolutionist, you’ll probably think my theory of how we (and by “we” I mean humans) came to be what we are today is stupid and it might even piss you off since I don’t profess to know a lot about either Creationism or Evolution. Well, guess what...not knowing a lot about a topic has never stopped me from talking about a topic before. And there’s only like ten of you who read this blog anyway. And two of those ten are my parents. And I’ve probably already pissed the other eight of you off enough at some point that if you haven’t abandoned our friendship by now, this probably won’t scare you away. Suckers.


Anyway, I believe in Evolution BUT I also think that there is some higher power at work in the Universe as well. Let’s call my theory Create-volution. See, I have faith that God created the world, and his design was brilliant enough to allow for things (like us humans) to grow and change as the world around us grew and changed. And God knew that being human, we’d be curious; so he allowed us to evolve brains smart enough to figure out how some of his Divine plan works. Creation that begat Evolution. BOOM. (Now you either think I’m an idiot, an infidel, or your mind is totally blown by my genius...I’m going to assume you think I’m a genius because that’s just how I roll.)


So, back to my boobs...because really, they’re fabulous and a major part of this story. I’d been watching the Darwin show (or whatever it was called) about the time I got the housework-leads-to-pain meme...aka Exhibit D... and thought “hmmm, I wonder why big boobs that cause backaches haven’t been eradicated by evolution?” And then I saw a squirrel or something shiny and forgot all about deep Darwinist thoughts for awhile….


Until Twitter. Someone (and I really wish I could remember who) tweeted “A woman can only run as fast as her boobs will let her.” And I have to tell you that no truer words have ever been spoken, or tweeted. For the purposes of this discussion, we shall henceforth refer to the boobs-and-running statement as EXHIBIT DD.


It was Exhibit DD that brought my mind back to Darwin and the early days of man.


Picture this: early versions of man and woman (anthropology books tell us they were short and covered with hair, but don’t mention bust sizes) are chilling and living the cave life.


This is where the Creationists get pissed off at me and get all “they can’t be short and hairy because God made man in his own image.” Well, I’m not saying God didn’t make man in his own image. Who really knows what God’s image looked like a the dawn of time? I certainly wasn’t there. And it’s not like God was taking selfies for us to compare ourselves to, so I’m willing to take the leap of faith that maybe back then God didn’t look the way we look now. He could have been short and hairy and there’s not a single thing wrong with that. I’m just saying that we don’t look like that anymore because he made us able to change over time because he’s GOD and omnipotent. He’s smart enough to know that we were going to need to be able to adapt. (I would compare this to the American founding fathers creating a “living Constitution that can grow and change with the nation as the nation grows and changes”, but that’s the History channel and I don’t watch that one.) But I digress…


Back to our early men and women chilling and living the cave life…I’m not sure what early man is doing in this example, because really, who has ever known what men do when they wander off? But I bet early women were sweeping the cave, gathering berries and constantly having to pick up early man’s stinky leopard-skin footwear off the ground. If an early woman was a full-figured gal, doing all that meant her back probably hurt all the time. (Exhibit D in action). She might have even had trouble standing up straight, which ya know, is SO SEXY, because a crooked milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.) But, even if prehistoric breast-related scoliosis wasn’t enough to get her passed over by early man, getting chased by some prehistoric predator could have been a serious problem, because Exhibit DD tells us that a woman CAN ONLY RUN AS FAST AS HER BOOBS WILL LET HER. All the well-endowed cave chicks should have been eaten by Megalomonsters or Ancient Aliens (I LOVE THAT SHOW) if Darwin’s theory was universally accurate. Since women with big boobs still exist (let’s call me EXHIBIT SDJ), I take that as proof that Darwin clearly missed something big here (pun intended).


At this point my Evolutionist friends are preparing the “Shelley, clearly breasts are necessary. They’re not ever going to be replaced or removed by Evolution. That’s how female mammals feed their young. Duh.” My brilliant counterargument is that I didn’t say breasts aren’t necessary; only that LARGE breasts aren’t necessary. Small-chested women can breastfeed just as well as large-breasted women and they can run...I mean, probably not breastfeed and run  at the same time, unless there was a pterodactyl swooping in...but you know what I’m getting at.” Then my Evolutionist friends would counter my counter with “well, men are attracted to large boobs, so they’re necessary for, ya know, survival of the species.” And because I’m the Queen of Awkward Moments, I then retort, “men who are interested in women are going to guarantee survival of the species, regardless. Big boobs (despite what adult cinema may imply) are not necessary for the bow chicka wow wow.” This is where my Evolutionist friends take a page from the Creationist faction and say a prayer...a prayer that I would just shut up.


Naturally, after hearing me argue with my Evolutionist friends, my Creationist friends are probably thinking they have the upper hand in convincing me that Evolution doesn’t work, but no. Because while large breasts seem to be man’s gift from God at woman’s expense, there is still enough evidence to back up the existence of Evolution. This website (http://listverse.com/2011/11/19/8-examples-of-evolution-in-action/)  has some interesting examples. I’m not going to type them out and properly cite them MLA-style because I am EVOLVED...and lazy.

So now we’re back to where I started. Let's say I get a real opportunity to play the “if you could meet and talk to someone from history, who would it be” game. Naturally, I’d select (see what I did there?) God and Charles Darwin. I’d sit them down and ask them to finally explain to their separate factions that they’re both right; which then also makes me right. Then we’d chit chat about ourselves, and they’d probably take a moment to tell me how to do MY job because turnabout is fair play. To be honest I’d probably take job advice from God because of the whole omnipotent thing, but maybe not from Darwin.  I mean, since he totally missed the whole big boobs deal in his Evolution theory, I’m not sure he could take me (and my big boobs) seriously and I’d probably spend the whole conversation reminding him, “HEY! My eyes are are up here!”

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spell check and proofreading can save your reputation

I think you've all already figured out that I'm an uptight nerd - particularly when it comes to proofreading, spelling and feminine products. So it will be no surprise to anyone that back in high school, I was on the school newspaper staff. In fact, for my senior year I wasn't just on the newspaper staff, I was the Edit-Nerd-in-Chief.

Now, we did some hard-hitting news stories back in those days. I particularly remember a thought-provoking piece on a 200-lb behemoth dog named Zeus, who belonged to one of the teachers. One edition, I had an excellent editorial on moving the band from the home side of the football stadium to the visitor side. I had a real nose for news back then. And then, as the icing on our journalistic layer cake, six of our eight pages were dedicated to sports. Despite the fact I was pretty sure the newspaper staff and my parents were the only people who actually read our sad little paper, one thing I was always picky about when I did copy editing was spelling. I didn't want our readers to be distracted from our in-depth reporting of the home-room volleyball game or the Great Cafeteria Scandal of 1989 by our reluctance to use a dictionary. (FYI, the GCS of 1989 was that it turned out we actually HAD a cafeteria that no one ever ate in. Who knew? God bless open campus lunchtimes and Taco Villa.) Anyway, I wanted our writers to have pride in their work, but personally, I knew that as Edit-Nerd-in-Chief, the quality of the paper reflected on MY reputation, regardless of the names on the individual stories' bylines. And really, it's all about me.

Twenty-odd years later, when correcting spelling mistakes is as quick as clicking a button (you kids and your Spell Check), you'd think those reputation ruining errors would have gone the way of the T-Rex and the cassette tape, but no. They still happen, and I have two cautionary tales in typos to make you ALWAYS re-read before you hit send.

First, I work in the office that issues student refunds. I had a co-worker a few years back whose fingers and brain just couldn't work together when she sent an email. Now, imagine you're a broke 19-year-old who really needs money for beer and pizza tuition and fees and you get an email that says "refunds are now being processed today." You'd probably jump for joy and go write a few hot checks for your beer and pizza tuition and fees, assuming that the direct deposit of your refund would hit your bank before the checks did. Then you'd find out (after a handful of overdraft fees) that that email was supposed to say "refunds are not being processed today." ONE FREAKING LITTLE LETTER was the difference between very happy students and super duper pissed off students. That email went out to less than ten students, but their wrath was really nasty...and for good reason. To this day, I still shudder when I think of it.

My second tale of "for the love all things good and holy: proof read, proof read, proof read" comes from an unsent message to my mom from a few days back. We had been talking about our data plan for our tablets and I was attempting to tell her I was going to make some changes. Except I had one MAJOR typo. I don't think my mom knows what twerking is...which means if I had sent this message without proofreading, I would have been in for an extremely awkward conversation involving the words "backside" and "Miley Cyrus" in which I attempted to explain it to her without dying of pure mortification. Nobody needs that. (And now you have an image of me twerking stuck in your head. Ain't nobody getting any sleep tonight.)


Tweak some things on the plan, dammit.

So, take it from your favorite Edit-Nerd-in-Chief, proofreading can save your reputation...and your mother's innocence.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Retroactive New Year's Resolutions

This weekend (between naps) it dawned on me that if I had made New Year's resolutions, I surely would have broken them by now.

I don't do resolutions. Why set myself up for that kind of failure? But, what if I made my resolutions now and make them effective as of January 1 so I could GUARANTEE that I won't let myself down? Damn, I think I'm onto something.

SHELLEY'S RETROACTIVE 2014 RESOLUTIONS

Spend more time on the couch (reading, napping, watching TV are all acceptable options)

Whenever the urge to cook comes on, go to Sonic instead

Watch lots of sports on TV (2014 is an Olympics and FIFA World Cup year)

If there's housework that needs to be done, grab a book and a glass of wine instead

Waste hours on Facebook, Twitter, Hulu Plus and Netflix

Hit the snooze button AT LEAST eight times every morning

Pray for a snow day any time the temp falls below 40 degrees

Sing poorly at the top of my voice whenever I'm in the car


That does it for 2014. I'm working on my retroactive 2013 resolutions now. It turns out 2013 was my best year ever.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I need a holiday to recover from my holiday



When I got off work on December 19 for the Christmas & New Year holiday/semester break, I didn’t have to go back to work until January 2. That’s thirteen days of rest and relaxation. So why the heck am I so exhausted? After just a couple days back at work I already need another break.


It was a great holiday, by the way. I have all kinds of stories to tell...some that I can actually post on the internet without fear of prosecution or my mom getting ticked.  


The most important story of all is that I was actually in the Christmas spirit this year. I chalk that up to doing ALL of my Christmas shopping online (no lines, parking lot road rage or screaming children) and to having a healthy dose of making a point to be happy with what I have instead of being bothered by what I don’t have. For example, instead of “It’s another Christmas that I’m not married,” I chose to think “It’s another Christmas that I don’t have to buy presents for a man whose dirty socks I have to pick up off the floor.”  


Anyway, I spent ten of my thirteen days off with my parents and their dog Sadie. I’m pretty fond of that goofy little dog. One of these days I’m going to “accidentally” bring Sadie back to Lubbock with me. I gave her a fleece blanket of her very own because she likes to sit with whoever has a  blanket on their lap. She managed to chew 6 or 7 holes in it within about 24 hours. Mom and Dad weren’t impressed with those chewing skills, but I get it; sometimes a girl just needs to take out her frustration on an inanimate object, and it was her blanket after all.


 


Sadie sleeping under my leg. She likes to be close to her people, even at the bottom of the pile.




Dad, Mom and I saw “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” on Christmas Day. I liked it, even though I didn’t expect to. We also saw “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” which I had already seen, but insisted on seeing again. I liked it even more than I did the first time. I need my own personal Peeta. He’s loving, faithful, cute and he bakes...and I bet he picks up his own dirty socks.


We traded Christmas gifts. I got a blanket that is truly as soft as a dead bobcat’s belly. (Long story.) I also got socks and jewelry and a Google Chromecast and all kinds of other stuff, but none of them are as soft as the blanket.


I got my mom a Samsung tablet for Christmas. She spent most of the break playing with it, so I’m pretty sure she likes it. Dad asked her if she was going to spend all of her time in the evenings playing with the tablet and not talking to him and she said “yes.” He said he guessed he’d just have to read in the evenings to keep himself busy...which is what he does most evenings anyway. And people wonder where I get my love of irony.


TWICE my Mom baked my two favorite foods: sausage balls (or as my envious cousins call them, “Aunt Cheryl’s sausage balls”) and sour cream coffee cake. She made them when I first got to their house, and then again the day before I left so I’d have leftovers to bring back home. Yes, I know how spoiled I am.


Once I made it back to Lubbock, I pretty much just slept, ate leftovers and watched college football. Heaven.


Those are the highlights. It was a great thirteen days. Especially the part where I slept whenever I wanted to and totally screwed up my sleep schedule. Going back to work on Thursday of last week was BRUTAL. It’s Wednesday now and I’m still exhausted. But there’s hope. I just counted and it’s just nine days until we get another holiday weekend. Wonder how I’ll recover from that one?