Monday, April 27, 2009

Deep Thoughts

My home teachers took my roomates and I out for ice cream at sub-zero tonight. One of them got ice cream with little M&Ms in it and I had this thought:

When we think of "colored M&Ms" we think of the red, blue, yellow, orange and green ones, but not really the brown ones.

When we think of "people of color" we think of the brown ones, and not the ones that are pink, yellow, or whatever other color of person that may exist in this wonderful world.

And come to think of it, "colorful language" rarely actually involves the speaking of words describing any colors found in any rainbow I've ever seen.

Funny how that works...

Friday, April 17, 2009

A random childhood memory

I have no idea why, but I had a random memory pop into my head and I thought I'd share.

Connie had a science fair project back when we lived in Las Cruces where she was testing the effect of subliminal messages. She did it by recording her own voice suggesting a particular number between 1 and 10 underneath a popular song of the day. These voice recordings were inaudible under the song. She then had multiple people listen to the song and tell which number the song made them think of. The song was "Toy Soldiers" by Martika. Connie needed a larger sample set so she had to have me listen as well. I listened for a while and then guessed "4". You see, the song had the lyric "we all fall down" and to me, the number most likely to fall down is the number 4. It only has one leg and top heavy on one side. I didn't guess the right number and Connie got mad at me. I screwed up her science fair project and she didn't like it one bit!

Funny, huh!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If you sprinkle when you tinkle...

WARNING: This blog post includes some discussion of a... somewhat personal... nature. Be forewarned that some of this post could be considered "too much information".

I am not typically a squeamish person. I really don't mind things that really make other people squirm. I don't mind the necessity of a needle being poked in me when I give blood, I don't mind cleaning up after Pepe when I take him on walks, blood and gore and bugs and spiders don't typically phase me, etc... As some of you know, I did research on bovine lens epithelial cells. This necessitated me going to the slaughter-house early in the morning to get fresh cow eyeballs, bringing them back to my lab, and cutting off the cornea to get at the lens. I won't go into further details because I don't necessarily want to gross any of you out. If you want more details, just ask. I'll be sure to get you a full description. And I had no problem with any part of the whole eyeball process. Just an example of how non-squeamish I am.

There are, however some things that do gross me out. Pee on the toilet seat is one that has always bugged me. It probably stems from having 4 brothers just younger than me and thus, finding frequent drops of yellow marring the pristine white of the toilet seat. I have been told that it's difficult for young boys to learn how to hit the target they are aiming at, but that never really convinced me for several reasons:

1) It's not like the target is moving. And a toilet bowl is really pretty big. And its not like little boys are aiming from a mile away. How hard could it be? I mean, its these same boys who can pee their name in the snow with nary a wayward dribble. Does such skill suddenly vanish upon entering a domestic domicile? I think not...

2) The designer of the modern commode took young "wayward" boys into account in his (or most likely, her) design, and integrated a lifting rim that sits above the porcelain bowl. So if someone (say, a young brother) has noticed a history of skewed piddling in the course of his daily happenings, they could take measures to avoid inconveniencing others by lifting the seat prior to actual onset of tinklage. Whether or not they put the seat back down afterwards is no concern of mine. In my opinion, If they get the seat up in the first place, they have received sufficient training. Any further action taken to accommodate female patrons of the same restroom is to be considered an "extra." I realize that other women will disagree with this, but I have rather strong opinions from time to time and I feel entitled to expressing them. In case you haven't noticed. If you don't like it, make your own blog...

3) In the case that one has managed to "sprinkle" by having forgotten to lift the seat, one can easily correct the mistake by taking a little bit of toilet paper and cleaning up the mess!!! I really don't think that it is that complicated. But for some reason, this seems to be unaccountably difficult for some people. One of my brothers refused to clean up after himself (quite a few years ago) and wound up handcuffed to the toilet in question until he agreed to clean up after himself. I wouldn't go to such extremes to express my personal opinions these days, but it still bugs me.

And yet, when it's boys that are the offending sprinklers, I can see where they are coming from. Maybe. But since our world is one of double standards when it comes to men and women, what bugs me coming from men and/or boys really really bugs me coming from women. Yes, it's true. There are women that sprinkle when they tinkle. Quite a few, in fact. Unless there is one woman (let's call her The Rogue Tinkler) running all over campus sprinkling toilet seats willy nilly.

This baffled me at first. I mean, I always assume that women assumed a sitting position to do their business, as I did. I guess some women are grossed out by putting the skin of their derriere somewhere that has been in direct contact with that of another human being. It doesn't phase me, because the part that contacts the seat is just skin. And skin in that region has usually been protected from environmental pollutions, etc. by several layers of clothing. Considering all this, if one has to be grossed out by something, shaking hands is more germ-spreading than sharing toilet seats. Nevertheless, some women are grossed out by toilet seats and as a result engage in a practice called "hover-peeing." Henceforth I will be referring to this practice as hoverone. It's easier to say, has one less syllable, and since I just received my PhD, I'm exercising my right to make up words as I see fit. But mostly, I'm doing it because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want herein.

So hoverone-ians do not believe in sitting on the seat. Instead, they "hover" just above the seat as they empty their bladder. And this is how sprinkles end up adorning the seats of women's toilets. But this still baffles me a bit. The toilet still doesn't move, still has a rather large bowl, as well as coming equipped with the self-same lift-able seats found in domestic restrooms. It's a little more difficult for women to aim than men, but still not impossible. I mean, the vast majority of women aren't able to pee their names in the snow (though this is partially a question of individual agility, perhaps) but a stream is a stream, and not usually a spray. Maybe they're facing backwards? Rocking out to their Ipods? I don't know. Regardless of exactly how it happens, I find sprinkle-seats several times a week.

It's not that I have anything against hoverone-ing, because I don't. People have the right to hoverone should they have the desire and quadricep strength to do so. And I have occasionally joined their ranks when faced with a particularly nasty commode (either in Argentina or the good ol' USofA) when nature's call is ringing loudly in my ears. (I feel the need to qualify this by saying that hovertwo-ing requires a skill set I have yet to master. It's just beyond my abilities to clench leg muscles un-clenching *other* muscles. Kudos to those with this ability.) It just really bugs me when people don't clean up after themselves. It seems to me that people squeamish enough to hoverone in clean, though public, restrooms are less than likely to maintain their hover whilst they drip dry. They are already making use of the supplied paper to clean themselves, so is it really to much to ask that they spare a square for the benefit of the next person to use that particular stall?

Whatever happened to good old-fashioned courtesy?

If you sprinkle
when you tinkle
be a sweetie,
wipe the seatie.
If you hover
lift the cover!