when the status quo frustrates.


Friday, July 30th, 2010

Please be aware that children conceived during the show or within 48 hours thereafter may be born with wings. The Wondaland Arts Society will not be held liable for this phenomenon or be held responsible for parenting or providing for your flying children.

Why Am I Not Surprised

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

…yep, everybody’s got an opinion about the feminism or lack thereof of the facial cum shot. 346 comments since noon today, for reals. I’m just sayin’, you don’t see this kinda action on a blog post about tort reform, for instance.

Two Random Quotes

Monday, July 6th, 2009

For some reason, I ran across these today (sequentially, not simultaneously) and just loved them (as a pair, not separately–they just resonate with each other so satisfactorily, and of course with me personally)–

“Here the forsaken virgin rests from love.” –William Congreve*

Oh my God…just like me!


“Sex may have evolved as a defense against parasites.” -Richard Dawkins’ Twitter feed.

I could go so many places with that one. But I’ll restrain myself.

Next blog post: Serious and pertinent. Stay tuned!

*Congreve is the “hell hath no fury” etc. etc. guy. I like this quote lots better, but probably only because I’m taking it completely out of context.

A Quick Experiment

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I’m going to name various categories. For each one, I’d like you to mentally note who is the first famous person to pop into your head. Please answer all of these for yourself before hitting the “Continue reading ‘A Quick Experiment’” link.

Who is the first famous person you think of when I say…

  • sexual harasser
  • rapist
  • domestic abuser
  • spouse murderer
  • child molester

Did a face or name pop into your mind for each of them? Okay, now you can read the rest.


Lisa’s New Workout Schedule

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

So far:

Sunday June 28: 1 hour at gym
Wednesday July 1: 1 hour at gym
Friday July 3: 1 hour at gym

I’m thinking I should throw another day in there. Maybe Mondays too? And it’s all been cardio–if I had the determination, I’d keep those days cardio and throw in Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday weight training, but I think if I try that right now I’ll just scare myself right back onto my couch.

Goodnight Moon

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

I’m not sure that this will mean anything to any of the readers here, but I was really bummed to learn that Moon of Alabama is calling it a day. They were my secret weapon, a great place I could always rely on for knock-your-socks-off analysis of international affairs, and links to all the important articles the other blogs don’t carry. Plus commenters so smart I always felt unqualified to say anything there myself, though I did a couple of times anyway.

But all good things. Anyway, goodnight, Moon– I’ll miss you!

Now my passport photo sucks even more

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Jim Buck relates, in true urban legend style (friend of a friend), that having three stars on your passport photo apparently means you are of special interest to the U.S. government.

I went and checked my own passport. 3 stars. Woo hoo! Must be an enemy of the state. I did go to Pakistan once. Man that made it difficult to get in and out of the U.S. for a while. ALWAYS missed my connecting flights because Immigration wanted to quiz me. This annoyance finally stopped when I later updated my passport, thus removing the offending country stamp.

Does anyone else have 3 stars on their passport? Or know for a fact what the 3 stars mean? Google doesn’t seem to be cutting it for me on this issue.

Totally Random Aside

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

So back in the day, the (now-ex) spouse came home from work and said, “I have a question for you–don’t think about it! Just give me the first answer that pops into your head.”

“Okay,” I said, mildly interested–I think I was washing the dishes, and it’s usually pretty easy to get me to stop doing housework and pay attention to something else instead.

“Okay–” (drumroll!) “–which part of your body do you wash first in the shower?” He looked at me with bright, expectant eyes.


Hello, again

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Insomnia blogging. The sleeplessness is my own fault, can’t seem to get myself on a steady sleep schedule.

It’s been a month since I moved from Tokyo to Fukuoka, Japan. My big honking project that I’ve spent the last six months of my life on is over. I wrote about 750 pages of curriculum for the school I work for. That’s nearly a Michener novel. It’s good to be finished!

As for Fukuoka, I like it for many reasons. Probably most important is that it’s not Tokyo. There’s lots of ways I love Tokyo, but it’s good to have a breather. Obviously, there are quite a few fewer people here. I can step on a train without imitating a tinned sardine, and I can ride a bicycle without taking my life in my hands. The people are super friendly here, too. I already have about four local food establishments vying to be my “local” since they’re all staffed by such friendly folk who seem to genuinely enjoy talking to me, even with my limited Japanese. And my living situation rocks. My place is big. I have my own garden and a real piano. At my job, my new position is rewarding and not too terribly time-consuming. In short, life, for me, is good. I’m one of the lucky ones, and I certainly appreciate my good fortune.

On Monday night I finally got internet again. A month ago, I was really jonesing for my series of tubes. My circumstances, between my new job and all the busywork attendant with a big move, made any meaningful connectivity more difficult than it was worth. Then, suddenly, about a week into my cold turkey, it ceased to matter. Life presented itself with other things to fill that void, and nothing felt lost. I was a bit surprised by this development. Part of me was even a bit disappointed when I got hooked up again. (The other part of me, of course, was really grateful to be able to get caught up on “Lost”.) But if technology were to suddenly fail us on a wide scale and all computers and televisions were to stop working, have no fear, we’ll be fine. Thus speaketh me, anyway.

True story: Lisa K, you got me in trouble! While I was living blog-free, there was a brief bit of excitement at my company due to a manager who didn’t like me trying to get me in trouble for this here little blog. Probably foolishly, I include the address to this blog in my e-mail sigs, and as per normal I left my sig on an e-mail which another boss happened to forward to a bunch of teachers. The next day, I get this phone call: “So, Quin, I was just looking at this website– this ‘Punk’ ‘Assblog’…” –(yes, he actually went out of his way to pronounce it as though he’d never heard the work “punkass” before)– “…and well… what’s this about anal sex?” He claimed that one of the teachers was terribly offended by it and had contacted him over it, an assertion I find highly suspect. So terribly offended by an article which hadn’t even been on the main page for, like, three weeks. I later heard that he tried to raise a big fuss at head office over it, and everybody there was just like “whatever”. Eventually the manager above him just called me and asked that I not include the blog address in my sig anymore. No sweat!

Strangely enough, aforementioned prudish manager resigned from the company two weeks later. Or perhaps I should add scare quotes and say “resigned”. (And to think I made that voodoo doll of him as a lark– who knew those things actually worked!)

Despite that piece of fun fun fun, I still haven’t quite gotten caught up to speed on what’s going on in the real world, or even just this blog. I see that our little dysfunctional Punkass family has increased by one. A belated welcome, Jad! Looks like your presence has been stirring the pot a little. Hope that’s a good thing.

Right. I’m going to go try to get to sleep again in a minute. First, though, to celebrate my glorious reappearance here, which will surely change all of your lives forever, I’d like to share another song. When I originally created it (for an electronic music class I once took) it was on a crystal clear impeccably mixed DAT tape, but alas the only version that has survived through the years is from a 2nd generation audio tape copy. Also, it’s saddled with the generic title “Theme Du Jour”. Still, it’s one of those ones that gives me a warm glow to hear every now and then. Hope you like it, too.

(Download link)

Creative Commons License

Theme Du Jour by Quin Arbeitman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Uh, yeah, thanks for thinking of me.

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Way back during the presidential election frenzy, I signed up on the Maryland Democratic Party website and (I now regret) checked the box for “YES! Please keep spamming my e-mail long after the election is over send me important announcements from the MDP!”

Today’s offering (they send out at least one e-mail every other day) unfortunately caught my eye:

Women’s Histroy in the Making!

(sigh) Yes, let us celebrate the last day of Women’s History month…by showing we care so much that we leave a huge, honkin’ typo in the subject header of the e-mail we are sending out to the majority of all the registered Democrats in the state of Maryland.

My feelings of gender specialness are now complete.

Musing on Flirtation

Monday, March 9th, 2009

I don’t flirt. No, I really don’t. It is a behavioral dynamic of mine that has frustrated many of the single young female party animal types I have gone clubbin’ with throughout the years (and possibly any number of men, though I have no direct complaints to verify that hypothesis as I do in regards to the ladies). In a funny kind of way, it’s a lot like being a voluntary nondrinker in a crowd of drinkers–some of them earnestly try to enlighten you on what you’re missing out on (and get really pushy about you “giving it a try, c’mon!”), some of them simply roll their eyes in amused contempt at your perceived prudery and/or cowardice, and the rest actually get angry at you at the moral judgment of their behavior that they have decided your refusal to engage in the same behavior must be demonstrating.

There are several reasons that I don’t flirt. One, I am by nature a reserved and introverted person. I can be warm and outgoing–it’s a skill I have perfected over the years, to the point that, now, I am generally laughed at if I happen to mention in passing that I am indeed desperately shy and have been my entire life. I had to develop these skills–they are a prerequisite for succeeding in America, land of the worshipful regard for the Good Team Player. However, it exhausts me and I am always quite tense and cringing inside, regardless of the perfection of the facade I present (the unmistakeable signs of social anxiety, as I’m sure all my fellow-sufferers are desperately familiar with as well). So, flirting is simply another level of a type of social interaction that I have had to force myself to perfect and engage in for going on decades now–clearly, hitching it up another notch when I don’t have to is not going to appeal to me.

Two, I don’t dare flirt. It is highly inadvisable for me to ever do anything to encourage a man to think that I might possibly have any carnal interest in him whatsoever, now or ever. On a really regular basis, my mere presence in the visual field of a man–the fact that I’m (a) physically nearby and (b) breathing and (c) not immediately going elsewhere–is enough, apparently, to give him hope that I might possibly want to have sex with him someday. If I so much as make eye contact, more than half the time, that’s enough to have him practically jump into my lap and start telling me all about the business/boat/truck/stocks/house/etc. he owns and/or what great shape he’s currently in the process of getting into. (And God forbid I should crack the smallest of polite smiles.) I really, really don’t dare do anything more that might possibly be construed as encouragement. And no, this is not just a problem in bars or dance clubs, as one might suppose–I just started a new job and it’s already starting to rear its irritating head there as an issue. (Aside: one would think that the fact that I am clearly being paid to hang out there might be a clue that I am not actually wondering around the job site just hoping to stumble across my dream man, but apparently, the hope in some breasts never dies.)

Three, I have very strict internal standards in regards to fidelity, both sexual and emotional. If I am in a relationship where we have both agreed to be exclusive, I can’t be morally comfortable with even the appearance of myself giving any romantic or sexual encouragement to another person. I know that a lot of folks are devoted to the “fun” of flirting and will likely take deep offense at the idea that there’s any real harm to it–but honestly, I’ve seen it turn out to be harmful in the vast majority of situations where the flirtation goes both ways. (Admittedly, not when it goes one way only, but then, what you’re doing by flirting with the unresponsive is being an irritating jerk–this is regardless of your gender.) I am not opening that door, thanks but no thanks. And it must be admitted that I have spent the vast majority of my sexually active years in one “exclusive” relationship or another. Flirting has come up when I have been uncommitted and therefore free to do whatever I want, but if I am aware that the would-be flirter is involved in one himself (and he quite often is), the same strict standards will not allow me to engage in that behavior with him. I can’t bring myself to knowingly encourage behavior that might be damaging to someone else–there are plenty of unattached men in the world with which to fulfill any flirtatious desires I might have. There can be no justification for engaging in it with someone at another’s expense.

What do you think of flirting? Do you enjoy it, and if so under what circumstances? Are you unusually good or unusually bad at it? Has flirting ever gotten you in trouble, either with others or with yourself? Share, share!

(This is all Hugo’s fault, by the way.)

Sexual Dimorphism (remix)

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

This Vox dude is turning out to be a real trip. Of course I always keep in mind that a single, incoherent, poorly written blog article does not speak to the entirety of any particular blogger’s ability–I’m sure I’ve cranked out enough of those to paper at least one wall of my basement. But two of ‘em in a row…that can’t be a good sign.

Voxalicious’s opening words in yesterday’s blog entry, following up his diatribe on the new Battlestar Galactica series:

As long as my masculinity is again being called into question, I suppose it’s as good a time as any to answer a few of the regulars who emailed to ask about what’s been going on in the workout front

What does working out have to do with masculinity..? No idea here; I’ve been working out since I was thirteen years old and I’ve been a girl the whole, entire time. As a matter of fact, that was the year I got my first period..! (TMI, no doubt. Sorry, folks. :) )

particularly about an injury I’d mentioned a while ago. I don’t know if it was age getting the better of me or if it was just my propensity to overtrain, but something deep inside my shoulder had been bothering me for a long time, so I finally listened to Spacebunny and kept my bench under 165 for about a year.

Oh, wait. It’s weightlifting! Oh, well, I’ve only been doing that since I was eighteen. Maybe my gender switched polarities or something in those intervening five years. Of course, that was also the year that I first got knocked up, which makes it difficult to believe.

The rest seems to have helped quite a bit; today was my second heavy lift in over a year and the shoulder held up fine without even a twinge of discomfort. It felt great and everything except the very last rep at 270 went up easily.

No, no, now I get it! He lifts really heavy weights. Much like our sure knowledge that no woman has ever knocked a man out with a pugilistic blow, we also are just as positive that no woman, anywhere, lifts really heavy weights. And if she DID lift heavy weights, they would never be anywhere near as heavy as TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY POUN–

Women’s Olympic weightlifting records.

In the 58kg (128lb body weight*) class: 522 lb
In the 69kg (152lb body weight*) class: 605 lb
In the 75+ (165lb+ body weight*) class: 671 lb

*Weightlifters are classed by body weight–not knowing Vox’s body weight, I put up a nice range above for him to fit himself into.

My recommendation: Try defining your masculinity in some other way than based upon how much weight you can lift.

(Previous musings on sexual dimorphism here.)