Saturday, 24 April 2010
There was an article online today in regards to the differences in the male and female brain. According to a prominent neurologist, if testosterone were beer, a fifteen-year-old boy would be getting the equivalent of two gallons a day. This is the apparent cause for their obsessive preoccupation with the opposite sex. It then went on to describe the ‘man trance’ that develops from all this testosterone, when a man sees breasts. Apparently this trance is unavoidable due to their visual brain circuits looking for fertile mates. But don’t fear, apparently their attention span is so fleeting, they can go from ogling some stranger to asking you what you want for dinner in the blink of an eye.
I accepted this about men a long time ago. Men look. You go for a nice walk in the park with them, and it’s only a question of time till they get a stiff neck from trying to furtively eye some girl running in a pair of hot shorts. I actually find it hysterical watching my partner do this, or try anyway (the man can’t lie or be subtle about anything) and to his delight I’m not the jealous type. In fact, a lot of the time it is me who spots the women first – “oh my god, did you see how long her legs were? Her ass was up on her shoulders!” My partner used to look at me with a look of fear on his face, mixed with ‘god how did I get so lucky.’ I think the first few times he was convinced it was a trap and it was only a question of time until I flipped out bunny boiler style. Now that he knows me better, he gets that it's just me being me. From where I sit, if you can’t beat them, join them.
I also think it’s a woman thing – some women anyway [there are women out there that would gouge their partner’s eyes out for glancing at a member of the opposite sex]. Women look as well, we just do it in a different way. It’s from a place of envy, a natural disposition to analyze the competition and see what's out there. I figure if he’s going to look – and I repeat, they all look – I may as well take part and give him my opinion. Some men actually relish in this, as then it can become an open discussion (and this is where you really see what’s going on in their brains, which brace yourselves, can be alarming) and not something they have to hide. Then of course there are other men that look at you like you’re spoiling the entire game, ‘you’re not allowed in this area of things. Don’t try to change the natural order of life!’ I also find it utterly fascinating as to what men find attractive in comparison to women. It almost can make you feel better to finally realize that thin can be too thin, and curves are a definite asset. Not to mention, there is a marked difference in who men and women deem beautiful (or hot, cute, attractive etc). This is where I get a little scared, when I realize all men have a propensity to find the park floozy...'I don't know, kinda cute.' Okay, we won't go there.
I’ve actually put in serious time with one of my male friends discussing the waist hip ratio of the average woman; he’s gone as far as to stop dating a woman cause she didn’t have a waistline. While I wanted to beat him for being shallow, the man has a type and knows what he wants. Maybe we should all be so discerning. I have another friend who could write a dissertation on a woman’s backside and what he deems the perfect dimensions. And he takes it very seriously. I find myself at the park with him like some sort of buttophile squealing, ‘there’s a good one, oooh look over there, what about that one?’ Some women would probably say I’m contributing to the objectification of woman (oh relax!). I say, men are going to be men. The more you fight it, the more you’re going to feel like Sisyphus. And trust me, over a lifetime that boulder is going to get mighty heavy.
Posted by Anthea Anka at 01:39
Thursday, 22 April 2010
“Killer Fungus seen in Pacific Northwest.” “SEC staff eyed porn, not U.S economy (well that explains a lot of things);” “Ash cloud closes 2 Iceland airports.” “Deadly blast in Thailand.”
These are the headlines I woke up to this morning on CNN. Nothing too far from the unusual, any other day the blast would just be in another location, and the killer fungus would be replaced with a virus of some sort destined to annihilate the entire human race. Hurry, hurry people vaccinate yourselves!!!
In today’s world by simply reading the morning news, if I were a candidate for Prozac I’d be licking the inside of the bottle by lunch. The fear perpetuated by the media has always amazed me – in that skin crawling, mildly disgusted kind of way. It’s almost impressive in its skill and manipulation. 'We will do our best to find every story to show you how unbalanced, violent, negative, and morally bankrupt this world is. And by the way, good morning to you! How about a nice pedophilia reportage with your morning cereal? Another grizzly triple murder as you inhale your fried eggs, wait, we have a political sex scandal that just needs reporting, put down your fork!'
Fine, there is an argument there that they are simply reporting the biggest stories of the day. Let's be honest here, they are not the biggest, they are the most sensational. And as we all know living in a capitalist society, sensationalism is what sells papers and keeps the reader coming back. Perhaps we gravitate towards the sensational cause it makes us feel more normal – “damn, aunt Peggy’s affair with the gym teacher seems like nothing now!” Hell, I'll trade feeling normal for a week without thinking civilization is in rapid decline (it is, I saw it in the news last week).
Personally, I think the news is disheartening and depressing. I find it hard enough to feel positive and have faith in my fellow human beings, and more importantly, I can survive the day without knowing that SEC officials viewed porn on their office computers. Um, duh! Men look at porn. I could've told you that (the statistic is something staggering like 98%, so women, hate to break it to you but we’re not winning this one). And the fact they’re doing it at the office, well that’s a no brainer as well. They’re not at home, they’re stressed, they’re bored of doing any work. I’m sure “Bigheiffertits.com” seemed like a good option at the time. In my mind did it cause the financial crisis? God I wish it were that simple.
I realize at this point it’s near to impossible to fight the behemoth that is the media. But saying that, how about a revolution by the people (take to your keyboards!) to suggest one positive story in the midst of the detritus? An earth shattering medical breakthrough, a teacher that reaches a problem student, a human act of kindness, a miracle in nature - I don’t care what it is. Hell I’ll settle for the headline, “Starbucks now serves rice milk!” Cause that my friends would be a positive. And in today’s world of fungus and sex abuse scandals, who couldn’t use a little good news.
Posted by Anthea Anka at 23:41
Astrology. I bet even me typing that simple word garnered a variety of reactions from those reading it. Some probably scoffed loudly emitting a few curse words after it (‘bunch of hippie trippy tosh!’ – I’m trying to be polite here); some probably remembered they hadn’t checked their horoscope in the morning paper – if there is anyone out there still reading print, please call me. We’re a dying breed – or online of course. And others are more indifferent; they find it ‘amusing,’ occasionally dip the toe in the water, but like reading the weather forecast, it’s enough to hear it’s going to rain, they don’t want to know the difference between frontal and convectional rain.
I think I fall into the third category. I’ve certainly read my fair share of horoscopes, perused a breakdown of my supposed character in books, even sat across from a few individuals who said they were able to read my charts. One woman, whom I suppose was more of a psychic (I’m being very generous here), was jacked up on espresso like a Columbian kingpin and doled out F bombs like candy. She would then make you an espresso, make you drink it, and then ‘read’ the coffee grounds. I of course - after sizing up the state of her nervous system - asked if I could have decaf. She looked at me as if I just peed on her carpet. Who knew caffeine was an important part of reading my future?
Here is where astrology starts to lose me. Everyone is born into a certain month and hence a certain sign. Of course it gets more complicated than that when the experts start throwing rising signs at you, moons, planets, star debris - you name it. All of this is supposed to illuminate you to who you are, what your character is like, and even better who you won’t get along with. The thing I am always tempted to remind them of, is that I am ME. I know what my character is like; I have to live with myself day in and day out with no vacation time. And trust me, I KNOW who I don’t like: rude, disagreeable, a-holes. Isn’t that universal? “Oh,” they say as they gaze at you with their expert eyes, “you have a temper. That is so Scorpio.”...I thought you said I was supposed to be vengeful and jealous? Wait a minute, I’m not vengeful or jealous, that would take far too much time and energy. Can there be lazy Scorpios? Maybe I’m one of those?
Then of course the uber obsessed take it one step further and start living their lives by the damn charts – “Mercury is in retrograde, I can’t drive this week. I’m accident prone.” “Uranus is in the alley of Pluto having lunch with Venus. I have to switch to decaf.” “It’s a seven year return, I will receive opportunities wherever I look this week.” Um okay. If you say so.
Hey, I’m all for positive thinking, if you tell yourself it’s going to be a good week, then it probably will be – or you’ll be so determined to ignore the bad shit, you actually will. But it’s the negative thinking that drives me nuts. If I walked around thinking I was going to have accidents, or wreck cars cause my mercury was in the wrong place, I wouldn’t leave the house. And from what I’ve heard, some people actually don’t. And furthermore, if you tell a person they’re going to be accident prone, how much money do you want to bet they’re going to be dropping a few glasses on the kitchen floor.
Hey, everyone wants to believe in something. I get it. It helps pass the time, comfort the soul, gives one’s rudder a direction. Maybe the problem is quite simple. I’m a cynic....wait a minute, I think that’s a trait of having a double moon in Pluto?
Posted by Anthea Anka at 00:48
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
I’m a believer in signs. Not miracles, or anything divine per se, but I believe there is a yin for every yang, a pull for a push, an action for a reaction. And when it comes to this large planet we all find ourselves on, I’m an absolute believer in an energy that connects us all like a giant living and breathing web. Call it the religion of physics if you will.
On this subject, I can’t be the only one that has noticed the absurd number of earthquakes and other natural disasters (we’ll throw volcanic eruption under that umbrella as well) that have occurred lately. My take, the planet is pissed off. More than pissed off, it’s sending us signals that it’s had a hideously large fat person on its back for far too long, squishing the life out of it, and now the searing pain is causing it to rear its head and buck us the hell off.
My partner and I always bicker (argue is such an ugly word) about global warming – he’s a debater, if there is a contrary side he enjoys taking it, purely out of sport. And there are many out there like him that believe it has become a political issue, ‘figures are inflated, nature is more resilient than we think and has a natural order that will correct itself,’ yada yada yada. For me it’s much simpler than that (although I still believe humans have caused global warming. So sit on that lover boy!). It comes down to basic respect. Something as a society I think we need more of all the way around. We no longer respect our planet. We rape it, pillage it, abuse it, and take advantage of it. However you want to look at it, one of us in this arrangement is getting the raw end of the stick.
So I tell those wanting to debate the issue until it’s a bleeding dead horse, who cares if global warming exists or not, let’s put that issue aside. Instead, how about exhibiting basic common sense and respect. If something can be turned into something else, recycle it. If it belongs in the bin (garbage) put it there. If we can find alternative sources for things, let’s find them. If certain animals are becoming extinct, and forests are being annihilated, ruining ecosystems etc. Um, DUH, time to stop. As my mother would say, ‘that’s about enough young lady (or man, depending on who is committing the atrocity)!’ You see where I’m going with this.
But of course, even the environmental issue boils down to money. We are a nation of capitalists after all, and that has its own pitfalls. We can’t ‘respect’ the planet without first lining our pockets, or defending our rights as supreme beings over all else that entitles us to anything we want, and of course there is China to consider! I love that argument. “Well they’re using it all up and polluting more than we are, so we’re not so bad really.” We never really evolve past the age of six do we? I recently read something that said that Las Vegas would run out of water in 10 years. Depleted. Dams-a-empty! So think about that the next time you’re rolling for a lucky seven and ask for more ice in your glass smart guy.
I say, it does begin at home, start small, do what you can, and do not spend all your time arguing with your girlfriend about your 30-minute showers. [Ahem, yes I’m talking to you sweetheart]. Just look at everything as a resource that has its limits. Push them and they’ll eventually give out, and it won't be pretty. Kind of like my patience. :-)
Posted by Anthea Anka at 00:11
Monday, 19 April 2010
When you live abroad it’s the little things about your home country you end missing – barring the no-brainers like family, raiding your mom’s fridge, having your clothes washed so they appear white for the first time in years, and weather – unless of course you are a resident of somewhere hot year round and then I have no pity for you.
Number one on my list of things I pine for: a dryer. You have no idea how much you miss them until they’re gone. Without one you are resigned to crunchy clothes, towels that exfoliate a layer of your skin off (when I’ve run out of body scrub this can sometimes prove beneficial), and the lovely scent of mildew on anything thicker than a T-shirt. As well, your house ends up looking like an obstacle course of half wet laundry that you have hung on every conceivable surface. I have even taken to using the hair dryer to fast dry a few items in a pinch – note to self: if you smell a burning odor, it’s done.
For a lot of my ex-pat friends it’s food that they miss. For me that’s never been a problem; These days in London you can get pretty much anything you want, and contrary to old myths, they do most things very well now [of course if you want a plate full of greasy slop, you can find that too]. Although that said, if anyone can tell me where to get a good bran muffin I’m all ears [I’m Californian, my standards are high on this one so no time wasters].
Then of course it is the staple items one has grown up with. It's a simple fact that in the States we make ass kicking Q-Tips and ziploc bags. I know you’re thinking who really cares, but I assure you, a bad Q-tip would make you care. And trust me, if you accosted an expatriate that is flying back to Europe (not recommended), and ransacked their suitcases, they’re packed with those two items. For some reason – and I can’t speak for the continent – England’s ‘cotton buds,’ as they call them – have as much reason to be in my ear as a sharpened stick. People, it goes in your ear, softness should be your primary concern! [By the way, if anyone from Johnson & Johnson is reading this, I’d like a lifetime supply please]
Then there is the American ziploc bag. One could feel perfectly comfortable filling it with sulfuric acid, turning it over and shaking it over their naked groin area, and I’m telling you, nothing is escaping that thing. In fact, that should be their new ad campaign. Not the case in this country. Here it’s a bag that gives you the impression that it will close if it feels like it, but it is certainly not making you any promises.
The other thing I miss – I can almost hear Willie Nelson singing “On the Road Again” in my ear as I write this - is a good old American road trip on a four lane highway with a cheesy diner just ahead. Fine, I am limited when it comes to consumption of diner food, but the idea fills me with nostalgia. I suppose I could do it here, but the roads are a lot smaller, Willie Nelson is not really appreciated, and something about driving on the other side of the car (the different side of the road doesn’t seem to bother me for some strange reason) freaks me out. I think it must have something to do with a lifetime of accustomed left side depth perception, and now every time I drive here and I’m on the right hand side of the car, I close my eyes and squeal when I have to pass someone as I have no idea if I’m going to take off half their front fender. This does not inspire confidence in my passengers I assure you.
I’m off to shower. Today I think I may air dry and save a trip to A&E. May the force be with me.
Posted by Anthea Anka at 23:52
Sunday, 18 April 2010
My partner is younger than I am. If we were tapping into the zeitgeist I suppose that makes me a cougar, as they have deemed it – cause god knows they need a term for everything these days. So what does that mean exactly?? I’m a bloodthirsty wild animal that hunts down the small and defenseless? I suppose it’s a bit better than the male equivalent: cradle robber, lechers, pervert! Maybe cougar doesn’t sound so bad actually.
To be honest, whilst I get the allure of others that say with an air of mystery, “wow, you went younger good for you!” – like I won first prize in some sweepstakes - I can’t help but think, seriously, is it that big of a deal? It certainly has not been for centuries upon centuries when we’re speaking of men and their choices. Men seem to get to a certain age when the grim reaper is in smelling distance, and suddenly take leave of all their senses. “So, she’s 22, and thinks Europe is a city in Africa, but she’s a really sweet girl.” Most of their targets don’t even get the moniker of ‘woman.’ And it does not seem to matter if these chosen ones can add (I’m talking basic math here), relate, or contribute in any way. She looks the part and that’s good enough.
On the contrary, I’m proud to say I chose my partner with some sort of intellectual deduction in place (fine, he is also dead HOT. But chemistry is very important). We have a lot in common, he’s mature (for a man anyway), well adjusted, and we both decided that if we had similar life goals, who cares about age. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is such a thing as too young – [ahem, Madonna. Seriously. All that does is make you like you have a hot Brazilian home nurse, and who the hell wants that]. If your prospective partner is still wanting to go to clubs with foam, drinks beer like it’s a race to the finish, and vomits more than three times a year (and not due to illness or food poisoning), you’ve got a problem.
Then again, there are plenty of women out there that are simply trying a younger model on for size and taking it for a spin. And I say HELL yes to that; if it’s just a question of wanting to take a dip in the pool of youth - I'm telling you, it can be better than night cream - then I’m all for it. As we all know, men do it ALL the time. And women are aging better, looking better, and might as well flaunt their sexual power with pride – [the post 40’s have been hiding in demure baggy matron clothing and ‘no I really shouldn't’ attitudes for far too long]. Plus, according to the whole sexual peak argument, women in their 30’s should be trolling for younger men purely to align their peaks. That's just pragmatic. And of course men die younger (you do; look it up). So I may be a sack of wrinkles in a wheelchair one day, but I’ll be able to wheel up to my partner’s funeral in style without lifting a limb...See, we’re always thinking.
Posted by Anthea Anka at 23:43