Category Archives: why the face

Spider

“Spider attack! There are more crawling around lying in wait for you to close your eyes and drift off to sleep so that you are easier to subdue.”
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This is my brain’s current screeching. Because I found this waiting for my on my drying rack next to my finally dry socks.

And HOLY-FREAKING-CRAP! it was fuzzy, and the jaw-things fluoresced that yellow color under the camera flash, and it released venom in that container right after this picture was taken!

I have no idea what kind of spider this was. I’ve never seen it in Southern California. Ever. And I used to live on the edge of the desert and am very familiar with wind scorpions, black widows, and even brown widows (now that they’ve moved to the area).

Perhaps this was a baby Shelob, and I missed my opportunity to journey into Mordor and save the world.

But for once I don’t care if I missed my opportunity. Because seriously, this is one creepy spider, and I am terrified of spiders. (Don’t even try to convince me that this fear is stupid. I know it’s irrational. Just accept that I am afraid of their disconcerting movements and giant pincer-things and their disproportional ability to potentially kill me.) And I stayed up writing this out in an effort to possibly sleep at least a little tonight.

If you do, however, happen to know what kind of spider this is, please let me know. It’s free outside away from me, but I would like to know in case it brought along friends.

The gas station

Occasionally life has moments that I swear belong in a movie or sitcom. Maybe you have them too. And, if you’re like me, when those moments happen, your first thought is “What just happened?” followed closely by”Who NEEDS to hear about this first?”

I had one of those moments the other day. I was almost running late to run an errand before work, when my gas light determined my absolute first errand of the day. So I headed to the bank, picked up cash (which I rarely carry) and then the gas station, knowing that my “first” errand had moved to sometime the next day.

The closest gas station is one I’ve used forever and now all the time because of my commute. And of course this day it was full, because that is how it would be in a movie. I drove around the station once, and found a lone pump recently vacated.

The broken pinpad discouraged anyone else from braving it and forced me inside. I generally dislike going inside because it requires me to actually talk to people I don’t already know – one of my least favorite things to do. But I had to get gas before I could do anything else, so I headed inside.

Everything seemed normal about this pit stop, with the exception of paying cash inside. Until I headed back to my car with my change, ready to leave. That’s when a nicely dressed guy in a decent car slowed down between the little building with the register and the first row of pumps to get my attention.

Because I was at a gas station, I stopped to talk to him, because generally lost people ask for directions at gas stations. And, despite disliking meeting people I don’t already know, I like to be helpful.

Except he wasn’t lost. He leaned toward the passenger side, where I was standing, and told me that I was quite attractive and wanted to know my name and if he could have my number to call me and maybe have coffee.

And I kind of panicked. The number of times I’ve been hit on in my life is negligible to the point of being never. It simply doesn’t happen. I don’t know why (though I suspect the not liking to meet new people has something to do with it), but I also don’t really care that I never get hit on as I dislike meeting people I don’t already know. So I started thinking of ways to get out of the situation because I was not giving my phone number or having coffee with a random guy who stopped at the gas station to talk to me across his car.

I gave him my first name, because that’s pretty much public knowledge. I told him that I was sorta seeing someone and that I was running late for work (which were true enough that I didn’t feel like a complete liar). And when he asked again if he could have my number, I shook my head no. I thanked him for the compliment, and told him again that I was running late for work and headed to my car. He drove out of the gas station as I jumped in my car and locked my door.

And then I sent my text messages and twitter post. Because these types of moments have to be shared. I mean, who hits on someone when they are driving out of a gas station? And where were the movie cameras? Because how does something like that happen in real life? And how could I not share this with the world?

As much as the moment itself was awkward, I’m not sad it happened. It’s on my shortlist for Most Bizarre Moment of My Life, and Most Random Moment of My Life. And it’s a funny story I get to share with people. And that’s what I like about life – the funny moments you can share with people. Especially when you meet someone for the first time.

picture of Ban Ban Springs, QLD borrowed from Wikipedia, because I couldn’t find mine.

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WTF Russian Ice Dancers?

I don’t know if you caught the original dance from Russian Ice Dancers on Sunday night at the Vancouver Olympics. I couldn’t look away.

Not because I know anything about ice dancing, or because they demonstrated skill according to the commentators. No. I couldn’t look away because I couldn’t believe what their folk costume was.

Below is a video I found on YouTube from an Al Jazeera English report.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtXWE1CfbcM&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

The clip that the report shows is apparently from an earlier performance, as NBC hasn’t posted the Olympic video to their site yet. But the basic concept of using pieces of Australian Aboriginal (and probably Torres Strait Islander) culture carried through to the Olympics.

The primary difference in the Russian outfits for the Olympics were body suits that more closely matched their natural skin colors with fewer white markings.

What annoys me nearly to the point of anger with the Russians’ outfits is not that they used the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures as their inspiration. The depth and breadth of the many Aboriginal and Islander peoples of Australia would make for a fantastic and beautiful performance.

The problem I had with their performance is the apparent lack of research of or concern for the actual Australian Aboriginal Islander peoples.

A brief survey would show the Russians that the traditional dances and markings of the various Aboriginal and Islander peoples carry specific meanings. And the meanings each mob assigns to the marks or dances differs as much as snowflakes. This quick study would also reveal that the Aboriginal peoples are still very much alive and not stereotypical barbarians, as their dance seemed to convey.

I have spent quite a bit of time in Australia (considering it takes 14 hours on a good flight to get there from where I live) and much of that time has been spent with Aboriginal and Islander peoples. I accept that I could be overly sensitive to the continued marginalization of many peoples (often collected into one whole).

But I don’t think that I am. I would love to hear your thoughts, so please let me know!

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