30 July 2009

Fucking Science

You've probably seen some items in the news about how divorced or widowed people are more likely to have chronic health and/or mental health issues. And that remarriage doesn't mitigate all the effects this. I had so far avoided reading about this because I get all salty when studies are done about divorced women and they (the results of the study) invariably make it sound like divorced, or never-married, women are sad, pathetic, ill, and depressed. I finally decided to read some of the articles. I got salty.

Here are some highlights from the WebMD article:

Compared to married people who had never been divorced or widowed, people who had lost a spouse to death or divorce but were not remarried at the time they were surveyed were 22% more likely to have chronic health conditions and 27% more likely to have mobility issues.

“People who did not remarry had significantly worse health than people who did, so remarriage helps,” Waite says. “But it does not erase the effects of being widowed or divorced.”

Well, isn't that a happy "fuck you" to us divorced women. As I couldn't find the actual article from the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, I don't have any information about how long people were married before the death or divorce happened, the age of the person during said event, or how long they were alone and sad before a remarriage. I can feel my sense of mental and physical well-being slowly eroding beneath the onslaught of social science.

Yes, I know that statistics are easily manipulated, and that extrapolating from a sample to a larger population can skew data. And that I'm not necessarily part of that 27% that will have mobility issues. I wasn't going to break out the walker, but if I don't get remarried soon, I may need to get me a Jazzy Chair. Yee-hah!

29 July 2009

Embarrassing Confession Time

Why not? Confession is good for the soul, right?

I think I'm attracted to this kid at work because he kinda looks like Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. Oy. Probably of an age, too. I'm gross.

28 July 2009

Random Piece of Advice

Please do not store Rolos in the same container as Dubble Bubble gum. It is an inharmonious mingling of flavors. Blech.

An Odd Confluence of Events

During my lunch breaks I have been reading The Brain That Changes Itself. It's about neuroplasticity and it is seriously interesting. And it makes me want to learn how to knit, or foxtrot, or become a neurologist. OK, maybe I'm not going to do the last one, but learning about the brain and how it works and changes is pretty fucking cool.

Sunday afternoon I took a trip to Barnes & Noble. Yes, I voluntarily sought out the source of my addiction. I wasn't sure what I wanted to read, but I had been itching (almost literally) for something new. After doing a reread of a couple of books; I was ready to move on. Unfortunately, and irritatingly, the OV B&N is doing a remodel and the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section was moved, down-sized, and in considerable disarray. Really, did they have to make more room for calendars and board games? Stop hatin' on the nerds! I digress.

After some grumpy browsing and a quick consultation of the book-finding computer (BTW, the Sci/Tech section was not where the computer said it was), I managed to find 4 books. Three of them were books I had deliberately searched for, and the 4th was a random selection by an author I had read once before and enjoyed; James Rollins. The book was The Last Oracle. (Sorry B, I know I said it was Omega somethingorother, but Omega does factor into the story. Again, I digress.)

The point? Oh yeah. My point is that I was reading the Rollins book last night and the concept of neuroplasticity came into play. One of the characters said something about Hebb's Law and I knew what they were talking about before the explanation was offered! No, I'm not going to tell you what it is. Go look it up; learning is good for you. They were talking about neurons, and brain maps, and synapses and I knew all about it. Well, as much as a person who is reading a popsci book can know anything about anything.

I just thought it was neat that I was reading about neuroplasticity and BAM, there it is in a novel I'm also reading. You may now return to whatever more interesting thing you were doing.

09 July 2009

Harry Potter and Whiny French

I went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night. I wasn't so excited about the movie that I had gotten tickets in advance; a friend* had an extra and asked if I wanted to go. Sure, why not?

The theater was crowded, as expected. We got there early enough that we found seats together - I even got the aisle (my preferred seating if the theater is packed). Not that any of this is important. There wasn't anything especially interesting trailer-wise. I'm still not sure how I feel about this Sherlock Holmes movie coming out around Christmas. It seems a bit too splosiony.

On to the movie. Visually, the movie was stunning. The colors were amazing and dreamy. There is definitely a thicker thread of darkness woven through this story, anyone who has read the books knows this. Unfortunately, the movie felt choppy and disjointed. The Lavender-Ron ickiness was pretty funny, though I personally think Rupert Grint is a bit too goofy-looking to inspire such maniacal devotion.** But what do I know? The first half to two-thirds of the movie leaned on the comedy, probably to make up for the death and unhappiness in the last part. Jim Broadbent was excellent as Prof. Slughorn and Alan Rickman did his usual creepy awesomeness as Snape. Though the subject material doesn't leave much room for the actors to stretch, Daniel Radcliffe did manage to add some dimension to Harry. Still young and uncertain, but trying very hard to grow up and face his destiny. I may be biased because I had the squirmy urge throughout the film to bite on Radcliffe's stubborn little chin (What? He's 19).

Dumbledore's death didn't really have much emotional impact for me. I'll admit that I flinched a bit when Snape Avada Kedavra'd Dumbledore, but I wasn't even close to tears during the weird "wands-aloft" scene. It's been a while since I've read the book, but I think that Dumbledore's funeral, as written, would have had more emotional impact. Not to mention, it's also where Ron and Hermione grow closer and Harry has his conversation with Ginny about searching for the remaining Horcruxes. The scene in the tower was just awkward.

It probably seems like I hated the movie, but I didn't. Knowing the story ahead of time, not to mention knowing how the whole shebang ends, makes the movie-going experience a little less...something.

This isn't all about Harry, though. I read an article yesterday about France and Sunday shopping. Apparently there has been a law on the books for around 100 years that makes Sunday a mandatory day of rest in France. Had no idea. Anyway, it looks like there are going to be more stores open on Sundays and some Frenchies are pissed. They say that having shopping (or trading) available on Sundays makes materialism more important than family values. I say, don't bloody well go shopping then. Just because the stores are open doesn't mean your government is going to march you out and make you buy shoes. Stay home, chill with your family, have a nice lunch. If you do that, then you can look down your aquiline French sniffer at the base consumers who decide that wandering around the shops on Sunday is a nice way to spend an afternoon.

But get this: workers can refuse Sunday hours. And in certain cities (Paris, for one) will get double OT for working Sundays. So, optional Sunday hours and double OT to boot. That actually sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. Work a couple of weeks of Sundays and you could have enough money to take a trip to America where we are open 24-hrs a day, 7 days a week. Suck on that.

*The friend I went to see the movie with made comments during the film in something approaching her normal speaking volume. Very annoying and exceptionally noticeable as the theater was remarkably quiet for being 95% full. I did shush her at one point, but it didn't take. **Also, Rupert Grint is far more attractive in the EW photo spread I just looked through. They must do something to goofify him for the movies. Poor ginger dude.

06 July 2009

[insert expletive here]

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Fuckfuckfuckfuck! FUCK!!! I fucking hate this place! I hate the people who whine when they don't get their way and I hate the people who think I don't already have work to do and I hate that I hate it and that it makes me angry! Fucking Princess and fucking Stoneface. I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire. I wouldn't warn you if a bus were bearing down. Don't even think you'd be getting a kidney from me. If I believed in hell, I'd hope you rot in it. I hope that you get exactly what you deserve. You are badbadbad people.

02 July 2009

A Thursday That's a Friday Randomness

It is a sad, sad day when the thing that generates the most excitement is a fire drill. The biggest differences between a drill at work and the ones I remember from school are that A) I can smoke while we are outside, and B) it doesn't matter who I stand with once I've checked in with my fire marshal.

There is definitely a pre-holiday vibe happening today. Management generously (ha) allowed us to treat today as a Friday, minus the usual Friday bagels (which is a point of contention). So it's jeans and sneaks. Or, in the case of my one coworker, a tube dress and flip flops.

I'm sure some of you were hoping for a Transformers movie review, but the whole thing smeared together and has all but faded from my mind. There was robot-on-robot action, robot-on-Shia action, robots embodying stupid racial stereotypes, evil human-hating robots, military dudes dropping corny one-liners, John Turturro in a thong (really), crashbangboomLinkinParkloopyShiahotMeganFoxlalalalalalalalalacrashwhacktheend. It made me want to drive home very fast and punch things.

That's really all I've got for now. I should go back to my DE and hope that 5 o'clock comes quickly.