What You Say?!?

May 26, 2004 9:40 pm

So my boss wants to sell his BMW and buy a Honda:

BMW M Coupe:

Honda S2000:

Personally, I'm a fan of the German engineering. If only I had his choices!

May 25, 2004 9:00 am

It's interesting how women at work have different methods for sneaking a pad or tampon to the bathroom. Periods on the job are a tricky thing. American society galls at even a hint of discussion regarding menstruation - it's one of those things that is considered de facto taboo almost everywhere you go in the States. And it's considered bad form, even rude, to give away to your coworkers that you're currently on the rag. While I think this is stupid and we would all be socially healthier if we simply own up to the fact that women bleed every month, it does make for some intriguing observations.

The most popular method of discreet transport in my workplace seems to be the swipe and tuck. The woman hovers to her purse, having secreted a pad in an easy-to-locate position prior to leaving home. After looking around to make sure nobody is watching (which inevitably someone is), she slides her hand in, swipes the pad, and in one smooth motion, tucks the offending object under the hem of her shirt, into her waistband, or within a pocket (if she is lucky enough to have found business attire with pockets). Then she proceeds to the bathroom with her hand at her hip or across her waist, trying to appear normal. Perhaps men don't ever realize anything is different, but a woman can tell if another woman is concealing a feminine product beneath her clothing. In empathy, we refrain from accosting her with conversation until her mission is complete.

The second most popular method is the heave-ho. This is when a woman is too lazy to attempt a clandestine abduction, and simply heaves her entire purse with her to the bathroom. With an office as small as mine, it was not long before I picked up the bathroom habits of those around me. And when certain people push back from their chair and nonchalantly grab their purse before heading in the direction of the restroom, I know what's up.

I have noticed other means of concealment too. I've seen a maxi hidden between the pages of a notepad. I've seen a tampon slid up a sleeve, then held in place by a fist (why does she look like she wants to punch someone all the way to the bathro…ohhhhhh). I've seen pad transfers from purse to paper bag, from purse to make-up kit, I've even seen someone slide a pad from her purse to her coat pocket, then put on the coat to head to the bathroom.

I bet there are more creative women out there who have thought of more ingenious ways to avoid the shame of revealing to anyone in a professional environment that they are currently in the grip of a biological demon. But whatever technique they use, I’m sure someone in their office has figured it out and is as amused as I am.

May 23, 2004 1:20 pm

Updated the Papers section with two more rants!

May 22, 2004 11:20 pm

Updated the STWing Photos section!

May 16, 2004 9:30 pm

With all the text that's been going on lately, I figured I'd throw up a few banquet pictures. Feel free to click and grab the hi-res (1024 x 768) copy:

di and me: class of '04:
stwing chicks: g33zerz!
spiffy tom:

May 13, 2004 6:40 pm

As the cost of gas continues to escalate, I advocate more than ever the concept of tier pricing. This isn't an original idea of mine - it's been around since the 70's and I heard it referenced on the radio some time ago. But it seems that now is a good chance to bring it up again. The idea of tier pricing is that you pay different rates for gas based upon the mileage rating of your vehicle. So the price per gallon for my little Focus, which gets around 26 mpg on the highway, would be cheaper than some gas guzzler that only gets 19 mpg on the highway. This way, people will be less likely to buy and drive cars with bad mileage, which means less gas will be consumed in general. It also rewards those people who pay extra for hybrid and other environmently friendly cars. There is also the added benefit of reducing the number of SUV's, trucks, and H2-type vehicles on the road, which makes driving a lot safer for the rest of us. Someone who opts for an efficient vehicle like a Honda Civic over a clunky Explorer for his/her commute deserves a break in gas cost. Tier pricing might also spur the return of station wagons and minivans into popularity. Not only are these safer than an SUV, they usually need mileage ratings comparable to a sedan, instead of the less stringent light truck rating required of an SUV.

Obviously some reasonable exceptions should be made. I wouldn't want to charge an ambulance or police car extra and certain commercial users might be able to opt out. For example, if you need your giant dualie to haul things around for your construction company, you should be able to get an exemption from tier pricing. But if you're Joe Schmoe living in surburbia-land U.S.A, there is no justification for you to drive 25 miles to work in your light truck when a sedan will do.

While I like the idea of tier pricing, I know the power of auto manufacturers, oil companies, and general american idiocy combined with the challenges of public policy make it pretty much impossible to implement in this decade. But as oil resources deplete and consumer gas costs rise, perhaps in the future something similar to tier pricing will arise. In the meantime, I will continue driving little cars with decent mileage and hope the rest of the country wakes up.

May 9, 2004 12:15 pm

Reason #33 Why New Jersey Sucks: extreme lack of affordable sushi. I miss being able to buy a tuna roll for under $6.00

Another observation about New Jersey: after spending almost a year taking the 3 hr commute, I conclude that despite common perception, female drivers are much more aggressive than male drivers. If I'm being tail-gated, 85% of the time it's a woman behind the wheel. If a right-turn lane appears, 85% of the time it's a female driver that tries to use that lane to pass. In my experience (and I estimate I've spent about 400 hrs on the road since moving here), female drivers honk more, cut off other drivers more, speed more, and are less patient at stop signs, yellow lights, and ramps. I have two theories on why this occurs, both probably with a grain of truth:
     • A rebellion to the stereotype that women are meek drivers. Only in this case, the rebellion does more harm than good.
     • More women drive SUV's, thus giving them a false sense of security that they use to justify more aggressive driving.

As for me, I'm defensive by nature. I only get aggressive when my life is in danger. Unfortunately, I've had more than my share of reacting to idiocy on the road; for example, being passed while on a single lane, 180° freeway ramp. You bet I honked the living shit of that driver. Or when someone uses the freeway merging lane to pass. You really have no recourse but to prevent these people from going forward, else they think they can get away with doing dumb shit like that. Sometimes I think I'm picking up the bad driving habits of this place because if I don't, I'll get completely trampled. But I do solemnly vow to always use my turn signal whenever changing lanes or turning, because damnit, more people need to do that around here!

May 4, 2004 8:45 pm

On my drive to work today, I ended up at a red light next to a gorgeous man driving a gorgeous car. The car was a BMW M coupe in a wild shade of yellow, the man had a sharp jawline, deep set eyes surrounded by an array of lashes, and a languid, muscled arm stretching to the wheel. Yes, I curled a sideways smile at him. Yes, I let my gaze rove across his car. Yes, I gave in to a moment of shallow indulgence. But hey, it's not everyday both the vehicle and the driver are equally hot!

In other news, Ava is reborn!

old: new:

The original Ava was my first computer, a P3-450, 64 MB, 8 GB, DVD-ROM child that I lavished love upon for 5 years. In our time together, it got a roomy new case, CD-RW, 128 MB RAM, and a companion 30 GB hd. I saw it through many phases, from 98 to win2k, I.E. 4.0 to 6.0, emacs to forte, napster to kazaa. It survived hundreds of papers, coding projects, software upheavals, peripherals, and car travels, and truly deserves to rest where all good computers go.

May 2, 2004 9:49 am

I just got the specs on my new laptop for work. *drool*

My current laptop is going to our COO, which should provide him a nice upgrade. I like how he completely agrees with getting a hand-me-down laptop. Why should management have better hardware than the IT Dept?

May 1, 2004 11:38 am

As per the demands of numerous people combined with the appeal of personal purging on the web, I have decided to start an online journal of sorts on this site. No fancy livejournal blog xanga shenanigans with friends, "eprops" and threaded comments, no current playlist, dancing mood icons and weather conditions, no subscriptions, userrings, tracking agents and calendars, no messing around. Just a date, time, some text and the occasional link and picture.

That being said, hello and welcome!

Back to Self.