Category Archives: Soap Box Saturday

Pls use vwls

I got an email from a coworker the other day that said “Pls finalize this”.  Is it really that much more time consuming to add three more vowels and come off as a professional?  Maybe it doesn’t bother other people but when someone I am not friendly with at work sends me an informal email it drives me crazy!

-Sara

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40 Slaves

I found this quiz “How many slaves work for me” a couple of days ago and took it.  It factors in all of these industries where human-trafficking and slavery is prevalent and there are a lot.  You can even get super detailed and rank how often you eat certain foods and types of technology you have in your home  (I’m assuming ones that come from more slave-heavy areas).  I apparently have 40 slaves working for me.  The main factors that contribute to my number include our technologies, medicine, and clothing.  Take it and see where you come out.  I think a lot of this can be remedied by knowing the origins of the product you buy.  But that can also be difficult when you are talking about something as complex as an iPad.

-Sara

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Nice Try

I’ve been pretty ranty on Saturdays lately – so here are two vidoes that make me giggle.  Of course they are both cat related.

-Sara

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Nice Try

I’ve  been pretty ranty on here lately so here are a couple of things that make me giggle.  They are all cat related, of course.


-Sara

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Think Before You Speak

I was upset by part of Ann Romney’s speech this week when she was talking about parents of the world sighing as they tried to get their kids to bed:  “And if you listen carefully,” she said, “you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It’s how it is, isn’t it? It’s the moms who have always had to work a little harder to make everything right.”  Obviously she was pandering to the women of the crowd but she really took someone else down in the same swoop.  We aren’t parents but this comment just perpetuates that whole “men are idiots” stereotype.

And at that moment, I was feeling two things.  The first was that I was incredibly annoyed by it, like Taylor.  The other was the thought that this is what it has recently been like for women and other groups on a pretty routine basis: seeing a politician that is outside of a group making commentary on that group like they know something.  If you haven’t…been female…wanted birth control for YOUR OWN REASONS THAT YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO JUSTIFY…been gay…had an unplanned pregnancy…been raped…been poor and not had access to basic healthcare like mammograms…been in debt…been a minority…been a teacher…been any number of things…maybe keep your mouth shut a little longer and THINK before you act like you have any life experiences relating to it.
-Sara

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The 10 Most Similarly Looking Women in Dallas

The local Dallas magazine, called D Magazine, hosts a contest each year for the “10 Most Beautiful Women in Dallas”.  Each week, for four weeks, they post pictures and bios for 5 Dallas women.  The voted top three from each week culminate into 12 women being voted for the 10 spots.  The rules are “Contestants must be 21 years of age or older and residents of North Texas.  And, obviously, easy on the eyes.”  Oh D Magazine, you’re so witty.  I’m going to mostly skip over the feminist rant I could do about the fact that this contest even exists.  The women are initially selected through nominations by the public and the editors.  The winners get nothing except the pride of saying they were voted one of the most beautiful women of Dallas.  A real resume builder.

So what five women do we have to vote on this week?  All of them are skinny, conventionally attractive (a phrase Taylor and I like to use), and have long flowing hair.  Man, look at that diversity.  No one is wearing glasses.  No one is even a little overweight.  No one has shorter hair.  It probably makes little girls feel good to see that beauty is being defined by so little in appearance.  You could say that ethnically speaking, they tried to be diverse: 3 white people and 2 Asians.  The jobs are lacking in diversity too: a model, a fashion blogger, health-care consultant, bartender, and a freelance writer.  I do not have a problem with any of these jobs – I just want to know where the science, technology, engineering and mathematics women are.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe next week will be 5 engineers.  But let’s try and be a little bit more diverse on the job front here for the selection process.  That way, maybe I could have avoided these situations below:

  • “So are you an English major?” (random guy at Georgia Tech)
  • “I would have thought YOU were the teacher.”  (Starbucks guy when I told him what Taylor and I do for a living)
  • “Wow, you don’t look like an engineer!”

The last one I have gotten multiple multiple multiple multiple times.  I realize some people intend this as a compliment but it is actually incredibly insulting.  I’m sure some people may not particularly like the fact that I am offended by someone thinking I am some form of a liberal arts major.  I want to clarify that I have no problem with liberal arts majors and what they do (Hi sister and brother!).  The problem I have is that people are still making assumptions about our occupations based on how we look.  Yes, my field of work did used to be predominantly male.  But my engineering grad school classes had more women then men in them.  My grad school advisor was female.  My current supervisor is female.  My supervisor’s supervisor is female.  My supervisor’s supervisor’s supervisor is female.  People do what they want because of what they are passionate about in life and not because of how they look.  Except maybe models.  And Hooters girls.

So a post that I intended to just be a discussion on a stupid contest really took a turn there, didn’t it?

-Sara

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Oh You Were Sleeping?

We have a large window in our room with blinds that reach to only a foot above the ground.  Luna likes to paw at them at night while we are sleeping.  It reminds me a lot of this cat although Luna doesn’t quite have his rhythmic capabilities:

-Sara

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Big City Life

On the Fourth of July, Taylor and I were celebrating our independence by watching Jurassic Park.  You would think we would watch Independence Day but you would be wrong.  What is more American than having the freedom to extract dino DNA from a mosquito preserved in amber?  I glanced over to the small courtyard that our apartment faces and asked Taylor, “Is that a bird?”.  But I knew the answer even before he said, “No.  That is definitely a rat.”  Now having lived in Atlanta for 6 years (and Taylor for 8), we have had our share of rats.  I was waiting at the bus stop one morning to go to class and watched a rat run straight towards a student then veer off and hit a wall.  Taylor will tell you a particularly traumatizing story where he and his roommate had to catch a rat that was in his room.  I heard rats running in the ceiling of my bedroom a mere 6 inches from my face as I slept.  But that’s Atlanta.  We were not expecting to see too many here in Dallas, particularly in a courtyard that is completely surrounded by apartments.  This means the rat either scaled down 4 stories of a building (which I tell myself is impossible) or he walked off the street, ran down a hallway that is over 30 feet long, took a left, and ran through the gate to our courtyard.

At first we hoped the rat would disappear.  Oops, did I say rat as in only one?  Rats.  We have confirmed definitely two but we suspect there are at least three.  They live in our courtyard and run around at dusk.  There is a tree in the courtyard that we have seen them climb and they live in a bush at the bottom of it.  We saw one of the rats fight a pigeon.  That is a sentence I never thought I would say.  It has gotten to the point where we will see one, say “rat” out loud, and continue on with whatever we were doing.

Of course Luna does love this.  Every day when the sun is setting, she takes her perch and watches intently for them.  I do think she might go crazy soon though if she can’t actually ever get at one.  Taylor and I would release her out there if we weren’t worried about her catching the Black Death.  I’m sure you’re thinking “Hey, why don’t you tell your super responsive management team?”  Well I did call them two weeks ago and they have fully lived up to our expectations of doing nothing.  Our courtyard is unfortunately not along the route that they take potential residents to show what a super cool place we live in.  So our next plan of action is to entice the rats down the hallway to the large pool area and my hope is that they will be swimming in the pool the next time a potential resident comes through.

-Sara

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Here, Have Some Wine

I stumbled across this a couple of weeks ago on Facebook:


While at least 10 people “liked” it, I became pretty frustrated.  No one comes off as a good or intelligent person in this graphic: the man is an idiot who can’t say anything right and the woman has a short-temper that can only be soothed by wine.  Is that really what we want to label our significant others as?  Is that really what we want to label ourselves as?

I understand there is a whole line of joking around that centers on male/female stereotypes.  They are played out everyday on the majority of television commercials I see.  And it’s tiring.  I’m tired of Taylor being put into a box that labels him as incompetent and not helpful.  Taylor can read my moods better than anyone else and does half the work around the house.  I’m tired of me being put into a box that labels me as bitchy and controlling.  Maybe I can be those things on my worst days but do I really want to make jokes about it?  Not really.

-Sara

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North Carolina’s Rising Waters

A big part of North Carolina continues to disappoint me.  I plan on going back and fixing all the things they have screwed up this year.  Click here to see Stephen Colbert’s take on the most recent decision North Carolina politicians made.

I once had someone tell me they didn’t “believe” in climate change.  As an environmental engineer, it made my ears bleed to hear someone talk about science like it was a belief and not a fact.  I will leave it at that.  This is one of those topics that makes my blood boil and Taylor loves to see me get worked up over it.

-Sara

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