A few things I hate. Sorry, Valentine's Day.

We all have things that drive us batty, right? Sometimes a bit crazier than average? Well, I seem to be in a cranky-puss mood the last couple of weeks–yes, my ribs still hurt like hell; no, I haven’t found a medical professional in Arizona who can bring me any relief; yes, I’ve tried every combination of over-the-counter medication; no, I’m not super enthused about needing narcotics every single day; yes, this has been going on for almost a month solid!

So, instead of trying to get my hearts-and-flowers-and-smooshy-Valentine’s jam on, I’m just gonna work with what I’ve got. Irritation and general annoyance. *For the record, I actually like Valentine’s Day, not the huge romantic gestures part of it, but things like frosted sugar cookies and construction paper hearts on every conceivable surface.

  1. Ribs, skeletal issues, body parts that hurt and will not be comforted. Ya’ll, I’m nearing the part where I am literally driven crazy by a back and neck and shoulder that just will not quit. I can see how people with chronic pain will go to drastic measures for a chance of reducing the pain. If a fairy-doctor told me to climb Mt. McKinley and locate the rare blue flower with red leaves, make it into tea, and then pour it over my head, I would book airfare to Alaska immediately.
  2. Pants that are too short. I realize the capri and ankle-length pant have been “in” for quite a while, and I’ve tried, I really have, but I just feel like my pants are too short.
  3.  Nasty drinking water. Yes, it’s wet and nourishing, but I don’t want it to taste like iron, or dirt, or feet.
  5. “Just for show.” I see stuff all over the place that is styled or Photoshopped to within an inch of it’s life in order to sell a particular idea, feeling, or encourage some kind of purchase. This drives me crazy; it just seems so fake and disingenuous.
  6. Ditto pockets on clothing that are not actually pockets, just pretend pockets. STOP LYING TO ME, POCKETS!
  7. I won’t eat chicken, or popcorn, or spicy food, or raisins, or blueberries, and half the time I will pick olives off whatever food they have sullied and the other half of the time I’ll put one on each finger and eat them like lollipops.
  8. Donald Trump. Just, no. No, no, no.
  9. The nine prickly hairs that incessantly grow on my chin. And the one dead center in the middle of my chest. Why!?
  10. Autocorrect. Hate, loathe, despise. Refer to it as Autocucumber at all times, out of spite.
  11. When people ask questions that can EASILY be answered by Google. I mean, I suppose I appreciate the thought that you assume my brain has the all-reaching power of a supercomputer, but why can’t you just look it up yourself? This is particularly annoying when people ask this kind of crap online/on social media.
  12. Those pop-up windows asking you to join a mailing list/download the mobile app  after you’ve been on a website for approximately 2 seconds. Um, hello? I don’t even know who you are/what you offer/how you live your life. WHY WOULD I WANT TO AGREE TO GIVE YOU MY EMAIL ADDRESS OR ACCESS TO MY PHONE APPLICATIONS!?!?!
  13. The suburbs. I am not adjusting well.
  14. Emojiglyphics. The cute little smiley faces are fine; adding a heart or a prancing pony or whatever after your message is fine. Substituting words for sort-of-applicable pixelated images? Stop. (Also, why is this a default setting in my phone!?)
  15. Dark tan paint, the kind that covers the interior of almost all households in Arizona. I would take builder’s beige in a heartbeat over this yellowy-brown, it’s seriously the color of sad cardboard and was on every. single. vertical surface. I’ve got 2 rooms left to repaint and they are taunting me.

I’ve made a list of things I hate before; the carry-overs are popcorn and  chin hair, although I have more chin hairs now than I did then. (Sob!) What do you hate? What drives you crazy? Pet peeves? Annoyances? Eye-roll generators?

Harriet sig

Working 9 to 5: how men have it all wrong

Warning: Fuck-words on the horizon…

Over the next few weeks my office will (hopefully) hire someone to fill the now-empty office of my boss. Now, this office has an enormous responsibility within the state and our industry at both a local and national level. It’s no small thing. Today we met the four final candidates and got a chance to hear them present on some major topics pertinent to our department and have an informal chat with each candidate to ask and answer questions about the more day-to-day aspects of this position.

All four candidates are women.

My department consists of ten women.

The rest of my company is dominated by men, particularly in upper management (i.e. my industry is not one primarily made up of women).

As a department, my colleagues and I work well together, we collaborate and exchange ideas, we rely on data, we present our programs and initiatives to a wide range of constituents, we partner with community, state, and national entities to further our projects and aims. We have learned how to cut through red tape–lots of red tape–we both rely on funding from and report to the state legislature, and partner with state and local boards and community organizations. In the last five years we have made tremendous change and improvement in our industry and have been recognized at national levels for the work we take on and the initiatives we create and promote (yes, I’m being deliberately vague, sorry/not sorry. #dooce).

In a word, we GET SHIT DONE.

YES! I know, it’s kind of shocking, I suppose, but we women ACTUALLY DO OUR JOBS WHILE WE ARE AT WORK!!! Whaaaaaa!??! Inconfuckingceivable!!

We don’t cry and ignore data and fall in love with our male colleagues and sit around and gossip instead of doing our jobs. We accomplish more in any given month than most places of business are likely to complete in a financial quarter.

Yet, there is still crap like this floating around the world, getting traction and supportive comments:

A training on “how to deal with women” for the newly elected Austin City council.

Female scientists should be kept out of the lab, they just cry and fall in love with me.

I can’t work one-on-one with a woman in the office because that’s like cheating on my wife…

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

Dear Men: I show up at my office every day because I am passionate about what I do, I want to make a difference and change lives for the better. I am not interested in having a lusty, romantic affair with Office Ink.

Dear Men: I am damn good at my job, I am capable and talented and have all the qualifications and experience to excel at my job. If you need training on how to “deal” with a capable and experienced colleague in a professional work setting the problem is NOT me, it is you.

Dear Men: Ya’ll have been In Charge in many ways for thousands and thousands of years, especially in a political or professional setting. Your track record is pretty dismal. Why are you so damn scared of opening up to the idea that the other half of the population may have something positive to add to the way you do business? It is proven world-wide that governments, companies, and communities who have higher levels of equality–true equality–between men and women have happier, healthier constituents and their profit margins increase. WHY DO YOU NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THIS DATA?!

Dear Men: I am so over the douchebag, self-entitled “I’m so great everyone probably wants to sleep with me” attitude. I am willing to talk about feminism and the completely radical notion that women are humans too and should be treated with the same respect and given the same rights and opportunities as their penis-weilding counterparts. But I am unwilling to continue to pander to or even engage with this kind of bullshit. Get it together. It is 2015. No matter your industry or profession women will be in your workplace. In order to stay relevant and–GASP–continue to be successful throughout the remainder of your career you need to re-examine these outdated patriarchal notions of male superiority and “universal” “emotional” characteristics of women (romance, love, crying, not liking data) that you view as unsuitable in an office or professional setting. Get over yourself. You sound like a fucking Neanderthal.

Harriet sig


Ya’ll, I have complaints. In fact, on any given day I have a list of complaints as long as my arm. Ok, that’s actually not really true. For the most part I’m not really a super complainer, not really. But sometimes…man, sometimes I just need to get it out. And that means you’ll get an ear-full or a feed-full of my rantiness in all it’s glory. Here is at least a small attempt to curb some of that ranting, at least the kind that doesn’t do any good.

What I want to stop complaining about:

1. Moving. I haven’t said much about it here (or really anything about it), but at the end of this year I am packing up my apartment, my beloved home I’ve lived in for 10 years, and moving 700 miles south to a city where I know exactly 6 people, 3 of whom are family and one who is only tangentially related (and a monster). I’m emotionally torn, but I also feel selfish for feeling that way. It’s my decision and after looking at all the pros and cons I know it is the best choice. However, for me the “pro” list only slightly outweighs the “con” list–and that makes the decision an emotionally difficult one.

2. A certain mico-managing colleague. And, in accordance with the wise law of dooce, I’ll just leave it at that.

3. My intolerable lady parts: graphic, bloody, TMI. Enough said.

4. My weight. This is 99% an internal complaint, and also a fairly recent development. I want to stop complaining and just fix the damn problem, all 40 pounds of it. I know how to do this (fewer cookies/boxes of pity-party macaroni and cheese, more exercise), but I somehow continue to eat the cookies and the pity mac and cheese and complain about my more rounded bits.

5. Oversharers, especially those on social media. Dear Harriet, just unfollow them. Stop complaining and stop allowing their annoying-to-you updates to clutter your feed. Just walk away.

What I will not stop complaining ranting lecturing educating everyone I meet about:

1. Feminism and the radical notion that women are people to and should be treated with a basic level of respect, equality, and kindness. This includes respect of images of women, words said by women, ideas put forth by women, and laws set down by women. “No” means “no” and “stop it!” means “stop it!” and “stop treating me like a set of boobs and legs” means “PAY ATTENTION TO SOMETHING OTHER THAN MY BODY!” I will yell about this my entire life, or until women have equal rights and opportunities and are treated with equal respect world-wide. So, my entire life. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

2. Equal rights and lack of prejudice against people who have a different skin color, religion, ethnic background, sexual preference, or political views than you. Stop it. Seriously, stop.

3. My intolerable lady parts: exploding ovarian cysts, endometriosis (newly diagnosed), excruciating doctor’s visits with TEN MILLION BIOPSIES TAKEN FROM INSIDE MY VAGINA!, and the general lack of control over super painful experiences inside my own body. I know I said I’d stop complaining about this I wanted to stop complaining about this, but no. I can’t. It’s just too much and too unfair to keep to myself. You’re welcome.

4. My love of hefty non-fiction and, therefore, my somewhat devil-may-care attitude towards YA fiction. Sorry/not sorry, but I can only intake so much fluff before I start to mentally float away and need something grounding, like evolutionary theory, or conditions in North Korea, or neuroscience, or economic practice, or whatever. And then I can’t won’t stop blabbering about all the cool stuff I learn in these books. I’m like a walking, talking, probably super annoying personal podcast. Again. You’re welcome.

5. Every year for several weeks I am loathe to go outside and enjoy the glorious spring sunshine and blooming flowers/trees because all of the flower/tree jizz gets up in my sinuses and creates a biological Niagara Falls, complete with sneezy, itchy eyes and a ridiculously high-dollar allowance for Kleenex with Lotion. I just, no. Not okay. Hear that, Nature? NOT OKAY! KEEP IT IN YOUR DAMN PLANTS!

So. What do you complain about? And what will you continue to complain about, come hell or high water?

Harriet sig

Inspired by ROE’s post at Giggles and Laundry.