seattle

Only in Seattle

I’m sitting in the Washington Stye Department of Licensing, waiting to get my WA driver’s license. A random woman just came in and asked if she could use the coffee table next to me to change her baby’s diaper. I said yes but scooted to a farther seat as the rest of the people waiting looked on in confusion.

Kay.

Greta Christina in Seattle this Thursday!

Need I say any more? You better have a good excuse to not come see Greta Christina:

EVENT/ HOSTS: Secular Student Union, University of Washington

DATE: Thursday, November 3rd

TIME: 5:30pm

LOCATION: Thomson Hall 125 (map)
University of Washington, Seattle, WA

TOPIC: What Can The Atheist Movement Learn from the LGBT Movement?

SUMMARY: The atheist movement is already modeling itself on the LGBT movement in many ways — most obviously with its focus on coming out of the closet. What else can the atheist movement learn from the LGBT movement… both from its successes and its failures?

COST: Free

There will be shmoozing afterward and we’ll probably go out for food. Be there!

GeekGirlCon is being invaded with SKEPTICISM!

Okay, I guess it’s not really an invasion. Skepticism goes hand and hand with GeekGirlCon‘s mission – “promoting awareness of and celebrating the contribution and involvement of women in all aspects of the sciences, science fiction, comics, gaming and related Geek culture.” Due to a last minute opening in their schedule, the skeptics get a panel of their own! …Which I frantically organized so hopefully it will still be awesome!

Skepticism 101
Sunday, October 9th
11 am – Noon
Fidalgo, Seattle Center Northwest Rooms

What can people do to keep their bullshit detector well calibrated, and why is this especially important for women? This panel will provide people with the toolkit to be a good skeptic when it comes to extraordinary claims, using geek girl-relevant issues like:

– Pseudoscience that’s popular with the ladies (astrology, crystal healing, etc)
– Women’s intuition, why it’s a myth, and how the anti-vaccination movement has exploited this idea at the expense of science
– Scams that target women (stay away from that homeopathic yeast infection treatment!)
– More severe manifestations of irrational misogyny, like witch burnings in Africa

Learn why the scientific method is a powerful gadget to have in your utility belt!

The panel will be moderated by our Friend of Girl Geeks, Paul Case, who is the head of the Seattle Skeptics. And the panel is packed with awesome skeptical ladies, including:

Dana Hunter
You want to know about Dana Hunter, then, do you? I’m a science blogger, SF writer, compleat geology addict, Gnu Atheist, and owner of a – excuse me, owned by a homicidal felid. I loves me some Doctor Who, Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. Sums me up. Find me at my blog En Tequila es Verdad (freethoughtblogs.com/entequilaesverdad).

Jen McCreight
I do stuff.

Amy Davis Roth
Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a 4th generation visual artist from Hollywood, California. She runs a handmade art business called Surly-Ramics where she creates ceramic jewelry inspired by science and skepticism. Amy is a longtime contributor to the widely popular blog Skepchick.org where she writes, among other things, a skeptical advice column called “Ask Surly Amy.” She is managing editor for MadArtLab.com, which deals with the intersection between art, science and skepticism called.  She loves to add her creative skills to the fight against pseudoscience.

Valerie Tarico
Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington who explores the intersection between belief and psychology with candor and compassion.  She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light, the founder of www.WisdomCommons.org, and a contributor to the Huffington Post Religion Page.  Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com.

Meg Winston
I was raised on faith healing, pyramid schemes, supernatural beings, and conspiracy theories. After figuring out that this was not serving me well as an adult, I am now dedicated to promoting a culture of science literacy. I am a theater major returning to school for physics! Hmm… a former professional actor who is currently a youth worker in social services pursuing a career in popular science writing and curriculum development? You got it. Other than being a co-organizer with Seattle Skeptics and involved in local Humanist/Free-thought organizations, I also enjoy gaming as much as possible.

If you were already going to GeekGirlCon, make sure to stop by! And tickets are still on sale in case this is the extra motivation you needed.

I can’t turn it off

While walking down the street on a date…

Random woman: …so I’ve been thinking about using something homeopathic to…
Me: *ears perk up* *gives Date the “Someone Just Said Something Very Stupid” look*
Date: *laughs* Down, girl.
Me: But…but… It’s like my superpower.
Date: Your spidey sense tingles whenever someone believes something stupid.
Me: I can’t help it!

I have HUMP! tickets!

This is my new favorite yearly tradition:

The Pacific Northwest’s biggest, best, and most beloved amateur-and-locally-produced porn festival returns this fall.The Stranger and the HUMP!™ 2011 jury invite local filmmakers, actors, kinksters, exhibitionists, and notorious sex-havers to get to work on their films for HUMP!™ 2011. The HUMP!™ jury is composed of local sex experts (ahem), sex-positive film critics, and sex-obsessed porn fans that love sites like dosexvideo as much as each other. The HUMP!™ jury looks for hotness, humor, and originality. Films do not have to be slick or professionally produced. They do have to be hot or funny or hot and funny.

NEW PRIZE CATEGORIES: Until 2009, HUMP!™ had two grand prizes: a $2,000 prize for Best Humor and a $2,000 prize for Best Hardcore. But some HUMP!™ audience members complained that the categories were too limiting. How were you supposed to vote if your favorite film wasn’t particularly funny or all that hardcore? So last year we created new prize categories and added more money to the purse:

    • Best Humor: $1,000 First Prize, $500 First Runner-Up Prize
    • Best Sex: $1,000 First Prize, $500 First Runner-Up Prize
    • Best Kink: $1,000 First Prize, $500 First Runner-Up Prize

And…

  • Best in Show: $4,000 Grand Prize

Prizes will still be awarded by audience ballot. It’s possible that a film could win more than one prize and that a single film—perhaps a hilariously kinky film with a scorching-hot sex scene?—could sweep the HUMP!™ Awards! It’s like the Oscars™ with Orgasms™.

This year’s extra credit props are the number 7, super soakers, and duct tape. I’m already a little wary of the super soakers and duct tape. But I absolutely loved it last year (NSFW), so I can’t wait.

The perception of female graduate students

Guy in bar: So, what brought you to Seattle?
Me: I just started grad school
Guy: What are you studying?
Me: Genetics
Guy: Oh, I would have thought it would be more shallow-like
Me: … *eyes bug out*

While I think the details are irrelevant, I feel compelled to add that I wasn’t wearing anything that could be even remotely perceived as “shallow-like.” Jeans and a t-shirt, no makeup. Nope, I just had boobs.

Oh Seattle

This actually happened a couple of weeks ago when I was heading to PAX, but I only randomly remembered it now.

I hopped on the bus to head downtown, still a bit groggy. The bus was fairly empty. I was about to choose one empty row, but realized someone had left a Bible sitting there…so I sat in the row behind it.

I rode the bus for about 15 minutes until I got to the stop where a couple of my friends were joining me. During that time period, at least six people were about to sit in that row, saw the Bible, turned back, and kept walking to another spot on the bus. But by the time my friends got there, the bus was pretty full. One sat next to me, and the other looked dejectedly at the Bible before sitting next to it.

The woman sitting near us laughed, and quipped about how only in Seattle would people avoid a Bible so much.

I had assumed someone left the Bible there as a form of evangelizing. But my friend flipped through it, and it was full of notes and business cards and phone numbers and flyers. Looks like it was nothing more than an organizational tool someone had left behind.

Well, this was an odd day

Today was the last day of my parent’s visit to Seattle. We were walking down to grab some Piroshky Piroshky for lunch, when a young man came up to me.
Guy: Excuse me, but… were you the one who did Boobquake?
Me: …Yes.

He sheepishly waved hi and then ran away. And then tweeted at me that he was a blog reader and was sorry for being creepy. My parents thought it was fantastic, and wouldn’t stop talking about how famous their daughter was.

I wondered what the odds were. I’m used to people recognizing me at godless or nerdy events, but randomly on the street seems way less likely. It had only happened once before, when I was on a terrible OkCupid date at the College Inn pub, and a random guy came up and asked if I had ever been on the Savage Lovecast. A potentially confusing question if the answer was “No,” but he ended up being a fan of the blog.

Of course, Seattle is pretty godless and nerdy in general, so maybe I should just expect it.

After lunch, my dad and I wandered off to the Underground Tour and left my mom to spend an hour taking photos of the stupid fish throwing. Our tour guide was really funny, and I thought the tour was super interesting. About half way through as we were walking through some of the underground tunnels, she turned to me:

Guide: Have you been on the tour before? You look really familiar.
Me: …No, but I live in Seattle.
Dad: (to me) I bet she reads your blog too!

Sure enough, at the end of the tour she very excitedly said she figured it out, she reads my blog, and omfgwtfbbq could she have my autograph!?! My dad couldn’t stop talking about it – he thought it was the coolest thing ever. I assured him I wasn’t paying these people off to make me look good while they were visiting.

Anyway, these little things totally make my day. Don’t be shy if you ever see me roaming around. I’m happy to say hello!

On the flip side, they make me feel extra guilty when I realize I just spent another weekend not updating. Whoops. I’ve been having a life lately, which is a bit unusual. I’m sure I’ll go back to my boring internet-fueled existence soon enough.

Welcome to Seattle, Mom & Dad

Within hours of my parents arriving in Seattle, my parents witnessed a pimp making a deal with a john by shouting a phone number and instructions out of his car while stuck in traffic on Broadway on Capitol Hill.
Me: …I swear that’s the first time I’ve seen that happen.

What else will they see on their adventure out of the Midwest? No one knows! Hopefully not any homeless people’s genitalia!

I am a geek

Proof:1. I just bought this:I love Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, dinosaurs, and surrealism. How could I not resist?

2. Next weekend I’m going to PAX Prime, the ginormous gamer festival that’s the brain child of the guys who make the webcomic Penny Arcade. When I say ginormous, I mean ginormous – over 60,000 people have attended in the past. I’m a huge video game geek and haven’t been to any sort of geeky convention since ACen in high school, so I’m looking forward to it. The tournaments haven’t been announced yet, but I’m hoping at least something I’m good at will pop up. Mario Kart plz? Or if we’re going esoteric, Pokemon Puzzle League?

And unlike the poor shmucks who are flying in and have to deal with hotel, transportation, and food confusion, I can just hop on my same ol’ bus to downtown! Huzzah!

Upon further reflection, I just realized I’ve been reading Penny Arcade for over 10 years now. I feel old.

3. I became overly excited when I found out that there’s an unofficial Pokemon League taking place during PAX. Yeeessssss! Time to tweak my party in Pokemon White, charge my DS, and prepare to get my ass kicked. Seriously, I’m great at in-game battles, but I’ve never played competitively. People get pretty hard core about Pokemon. IV breeding and EV training lolwut?

If you’re going and can hunt me down in the crowd of 60,000, feel free to challenge me to a battle (or say hello, if you’re not a Pokemon geek like I am). I’m sure I’ll be tweeting the whole time, making con-stalking even easier.

4. Speaking of Pokemon… I’m currently constructing my cosplay as Hilda from Pokemon White:Don’t judge.

I have to give a shout out to my mom, who’s dealing with my geekery. I made her hunt through my old bedroom for my Burger King Pokeballs (which apparently suffocated small children) and mail them to me to complete the costume. Now I’m just trying to hunt down some cheap boots and a hat that I can alter with pink paint. May have to give up on a pink purse. EDIT: Boots and purse acquired at thrift store! Now just for the hat, shoelaces, and wrist band thingies. I AM GOING TO BE SO COOL.

5. And if that’s not enough, I just bought my ticket to Geek Girl Con in October.

I am in geek heaven.

I think he takes landLORD a little too literally

It’s no secret that I hate my apartment. tl;dr I have no privacy, I’m getting ripped off on my electric bills (which he once refused to pay), I don’t have control over the heat or internet, and the place is infested with spiders. Seriously, I’ve killed about one a day since I moved in. Last night a hairy one CRAWLED ACROSS MY CHEST WHILE I WAS LAYING IN BED.

Sorry, my terror deserves all caps.

The upside to all of this is that I’m finally moving in two weeks. Hurray! I found a wonderful new place in Capitol Hill (not Washington DC, the Seattle neighborhood that’s filled with gays and hipsters and awesome food and bars). But that also means other people are checking out my apartment. I missed most of the viewings this weekend since I was in Omaha, but today one couple from out of state called me to ask how it was.

Thanks for giving my phone number out to random strangers, landlord.

Anyway, they were really nice, and I told them the truth about the place. I was in the same situation last year – moving from out of state and unable to find anything – and I wish I would have had someone to ask about the place (the current tenant had already moved out). When they asked if I felt comfortable here, I relayed the story about the time my landlord found out I was an evolutionary biologist and proceeded to debate me for twenty five minutes about how creationism was correct. If you are buying an apartment and would like to learn more about mortgages then you can read about it by visiting www.lendingexpert.co.uk, it consists of a case study and according to this case study you can buy to let mortgages on an unencumbered property with historic adverse credit, this may interest when purchasing a new property.

She paused. She said it wasn’t surprising, since he had made some anti-Catholic remarks at the end of their phone call, and that her husband was Catholic. And he had also asked them if they were church goers – they weren’t (like many Catholics?).

I shouldn’t be surprised that he was dumb enough to say anti-Catholic stuff on the phone, since he’s had no problem ranting to me about creationism or how horrible unions are. But the latter makes me wonder. Is it because of me? Is my landlord running around fretting that he has a Dirty Atheist living in his basement? It’s obvious if you look at my bookshelf or glance at my mail that arrives in our shared mailbox – lots of letters from the Secular Student Alliance, Secular Coalition for America, and Planned Parenthood.

I better not see a fee for exorcisms or blessings come out of my security deposit.

The reason why you’re single

No, it’s not because you have reasonable standards of attraction and Seattle is just filled with ugly bitches who are deluded into thinking they’re prettier than they are.

It’s because you’re a self absorbed douchebag.

This seems like a brand of Nice Guy Syndrome, but slightly different. “Nice Guys” focus on how women don’t appreciate all of their nice acts, despite said nice acts being shallow manipulative ploys so Nice Guy can stick his dick in you, rather than genuine kindness, empathy, or respect. No, this seems like “Not Ugly Guy,” where he has reasonable standards of who he’s attracted to, but a city of over 500,000 people happens to be full of nothing but ugly women. Ugly, “dumpy” women who spend their free time sitting in (metaphorical) circle jerks talking about how pretty they are and concocting plans for tricking attractive men to stay in miserable relationships with them.

Slightly different, but there is a common denominator: Passive aggressiveness and pure delusion to avoid the possibility that you, Oh Perfect Penis Bearer, could have any sort of flaw.

It really boggles my mind how so many men can’t comprehend that the way to get a date is to treat women like human beings, rather than some monolithic hivemind or dungeon level that can be easily solved with a strategy guide. Or worse, an item they quite obviously deserve, despite being raging dickbags who can’t take a hint when their friends are saying they have too high of standards.

Translation: That’s the nice way of saying you don’t deserve the women you’re aiming for. Probably because you’re a raging dickbag whose justification for 13 years of singledom is blogging not-so-thinly-veiled misogyny.

Oh wait. I just disagree because I’m not pretty enough. Right. I always forget that.

EDIT: The author says he received a death threat because of his post. If this is true, that’s despicable. I hope it wasn’t any of my readers who did that, since we just got done talking about how that’s not okay. Shred someone’s arguments to pieces and point out their idiocy, but never threaten them.