Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Return to the blue lagoon . . .

At long last, your humble narrator hast returned to the vast abyss of dissertating and hast vowed to remain there for no less than the entire duration of chapter the second. She hast found, much to her delight, that imbibing a single glass of peach juice laced with Malibu rum seems to foster such activities--hopefully not to the detriment of coherence. She hath furthermore discovered, in apparent connection with her venture, a vehement desire for the music of one 'Cher' and wonders if there might be some clandestine and hitherto unexplored association between said musician and Stoic virtue.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Interior Designers Run Amok

The item pictured above, currently offered for sale by Ballard Designs, is called a "seashell topiary." Ballard Designs has taken a classic piece of garden design--the topiary, which is a plant that has been trimmed into a particular shape--and turned it into what resembles a freakish beehive hairdo that has been attacked by a swarm of killer hermit crabs. Bravo! Like most interior design disasters, you will notice that this item smacks of crafty creativity, is meant to be part of a themed room (indeed, you can also purchase a lovely matching seashell wreath), and has absolutely no function beyond provoking the occasional furrowed brow of a visitor. I hereby present it with Jeni's Award for Tackiest Design Item.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What To Do If Your Co-Workers Bore You

How To Get Included When Co-Workers Leave You Out addressed Amy's question to Ask Amy about what to do regarding naked women in e-mail forwards at work that she did not receive.

Typical of most advice columnists, Ask Amy, or the asking Amy, left out many details. Anonymous mentions one such scenario that may arise.

As I wrote to the asking Amy:
You need to assess yourself. Why are you growing intolerant? Why are you so afraid of porn? Why are you embarrassed by it? Is it your parents? School? Are you afraid of sexuality?
Once the asking Amy assesses herself she might conclude with the assessment that commentor Anonymous takes up:
Some people just find porn boring rather than offensive.
In the case where Amy finds porn boring she should begin yawning as her co-workers discuss their porn pictures around the water cooler, and tell them, "Could we possibly discuss something more boring? Like work?" Should they protest, she may then tell them that she understands because her son, cousin, nephew, or brother used to find porn exciting. Then he turned 16 and started dating girls, which he found to be much more exciting, and she is sure they will eventually grow into real pursuits. She could then offer to provide them all dating advice for $25 an hour per person in a group session. She will then making money during her lunch break.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How To Get Included When Co-Workers Leave You Out

Amy writes to Ask Amy on what to do about naked women in e-mail forwards at work that she does not receive:
[T]hey do not send them to me (though I have seen one or two), but they do discuss these e-mails in front of me, laughing when I get upset....I have joked around with the guys in the I have to completely abandon my sense of humor and basically threaten them with harassment charges? It's a small office and we've worked together for years. I just find myself growing less tolerant....
Ask Amy replies:
It sounds like you have a pretty good relationship with your coworkers....simply point out that it's just not funny to you....If this more conversational approach doesn't make an impact, you could also probably do something more formal through your HR office. Many workplaces have policies against viewing porn, etc....on their dime and through their accounts. Also, this cumulative behavior can count as sexual harassment -- even though it's not intended that way, or at least you don't seem to be interpreting it that way -- it is part of creating a hostile work environment.
Pierre replies:

If you listen to Ask Amy, you will find there is nothing like going to the human resources department in a small office, which probably does not have an HR deparment because it is a small office.

You need to assess yourself. Why are you growing intolerant? Why are you so afraid of porn? Why are you embarrassed by it? Is it your parents? School? Are you afraid of sexuality? If you are afraid, you must stop living in fear because porn has seeped into American culture, but you seem to have been closing your eyes to it. Why not open you eyes and engage in meaningful discussion with your co-workers about something they care about? Instead of seeing sexual harassment accumulating, you should demand that the glass ceiling be shattered and that the men send you the forwards so that you can better discuss the pictures with them.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Her Parent's Sex Life Mortifies Her, But When Dear Prudence Provides No Guidance, Pierre Steps In

"Need New Sheets" writes to Dear Prudence asking:
I am 16, and my parents...have sex in other places in the house besides their bedroom. I'm never home when this occurs....Recently, I found out that my parents had sex on my bed. This was mortifying and horrific for me....I haven't even had sex on my bed! They don't see anything wrong with what they've done....How can I explain to them that this has scarred me, possibly for the rest of my life?
Dear Prudence responds:
Since you weren't home when they discovered your bed was "just right," how did you find out? Do they discuss their conjugal adventures over dinner? Or do they make innuendos to each other that you're now old enough to understand? You're right to be disturbed....I can't tell from your letter if your parents are just a little bit screwy on this subject and don't realize you know more than they intend, or if they get their jollies from subjecting you to recitations of their intimacy....if they don't get it after you talk to them, you have to seek help. Discuss this with a trustworthy relative, a member of your clergy, or a counselor at your school who can intervene on your behalf.
Pierre - A Cat From France responds:
All Dear Prudence did was turn you to counselors. Do not turn to high school counselors. If they knew anything, they would not be high school counselors. They would be plumbers.

Turn to Pierre.

You are looking at this as a negative. Always look on the bright side of life. While you are 16 and unmarried you should not be having any sex, but look at what you have to look forward to: When you marry, and then can have sex, you can visit your parents and engage in sex all over their house. Should they complain you can then respond, "I learned it from you."