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Category Archives: science

How to make your Science Fellow feel better when he has the killer zombie Finnish death flu

Our most excellent Science Fellow Andreas has been down with the killer zombie Finnish death flu for a few days and it is the worst. I worry about such things. He told me today he was feeling better, but also that he Googled his symptoms and Google helpfully informed him he had the Bubonic Plague. Well! THAT’S not good. I would not like it in the least if something bad were to happen to my Science Fellow who also happens to be one of my closest friends. Especially not the Bubonic Plague, because the interweb tells me that when you get that, you get gangrene, seizures, extremely swollen lymph glands (sometimes in your GROIN, oh, no thanks), “continuous vomiting of blood” (WTF NO NO) and black dots scattered all over your body for some strange reason. No, I don’t think I want those things for Andreas. Or many people I know, actually. Note I didn’t say EVERYONE I know. There are a few select people that could use a little gangrene and blood-gacking. I know I should be more forgiving. I promise they really deserve it, if that helps at all.

So, what could we do from a distance to make our Andreas feel better? It’s tough, because Finland is FAR, you guys. Like, when I’m getting ready to go to bed most nights, Andreas is just getting up. I know I’ve stayed up too late if I stay up to say more than “Good morning, good night” to Andreas. So how can we send a virtual get-well card to Andreas? Because he and I have a date to talk with our faces tonight on the internet and if he’s dying of the Bubonic Plague I don’t think that’s going to happen, you know?

I KNOW! LET’S TALK ABOUT SCIENCE!

I can’t think of any way to cheer Andreas up more. Except if he really has the Bubonic Plague. If he really has the Bubonic Plague, no amount of sciency posts are going to fix that shit, yo. Andreas, please don’t have the Bubonic Plague, I would be lost without you.

In honor of Andreas, here is a most excellent post I found about the top ten newly discovered species. Do you find it so exciting that they are still discovering new species all the time? I do. I think that’s kind of awesome. I mean, we’re killing off species left and right, but dammit, new species are still happening. That’s amazing to me.

Apparently, there’s a thing called the “International Institute for Species Exploration” at Arizona State University. Well, you know it must be good if it’s at ASU, because ASU is in Phoenix. You know who else is in Phoenix? BFF IS!!! So that’s why this institute must be awesome.

So this institute, every year, picks out the top ten best newly-discovered species and then SHARES THEM WITH THE WORLD! Thank you, ASU, the last thing I heard about you was that you were totally a party school so I’m glad you’re crackin’ down on the science tip, yo.

So, without further ado, here are Arizona State University’s top ten newly-discovered species. Well, not all ten, because some are totally boring, but at least three or four. SORRY! I shouldn’t say things are boring. But what the hell would I say about some pretty new plant? If you want to see the new plant, you can click on that link up there. ANYWAY! Are we so excited? YES WE ARE! Andreas, are you feeling better already just imagining all the fun we’re going to have?

This is a lyre sponge! It lives at the bottom of the sea. What sea? I don’t know, a deep one, I think. I know what you’re thinking. “AMY THIS IS BORING.” Well! Shows what you know, Slappy! This sponge is CARNIVOROUS! OK, fine, it only carnivorates (shut up, I just made that a word just now, I can do things like that if I want) plankton, but still, that’s kind of badass, for a sponge. I mean, you wash your dishes with sponges, and this one is A MURDERER (of plankton)!

OMG THE TINIES FROG IN ALL THE LAND YOU GUYS! Look, he’s on a DIME! His fancy scientific name is Paedophryne amanuensis. He lives in New Guinea. It is the smallest living vertebrate! EVER! Aw, I want like a whole aquarium of these, I love them so much! I feel like this very small frog might be my spirit animal.

You guys, this is a glow-in-the-dark cockroach. A GLOW-IN-THE-DARK COCKROACH. I can’t tell if this a very good idea or the scariest thing to ever happen. Like, once? I lived in a house that was overrun with roaches and it’s the worst place I’ve ever lived and I still have the shivers when I think about it because when I woke up in the morning and I’d turn on the light you’d see a billion roaches running for cover and you just kind of sat for a moment and thought about the turn your life had taken, you living in a place where you were outnumbered by vermin? So would it be good if the roaches glowed in the dark so you had some warning? Or would it be terrible, because when you were trying to sleep, you could see them creeping closer and closer to your bed because the one thing they wanted more than anything was to get under the covers with you and that thought kept you up at night?

This cockroach lived around a volcano site and scientists aren’t sure if it’s even in existence anymore. I find it sad that something was discovered that might already be extinct.

Also, I think this cockroach looks like Wall-E’s girlfriend Eve.

Except of course much more creepy and liable to make me get the shivers and run out into the snow with only sandals on in disgust from all those damn cockroaches. Sorry. Flashback. Carry on.

OK, you know I have monkey-phobia, right? This monkey scares me. But also is kind of intriguing.

Put your hands over the top of its head and the bottom of its face so just its eyes are showing. THIS IS LIKE A MONKEY WITH HUMAN EYES. That’s why it’s scary. It’s like a science experiment gone wrong. Also, its face is really long so it looks kind of doleful and a little pensive so I feel kind of sad for it.

This is a lesula monkey and it lives in the Congo. Also it has a bright blue bum, which makes me laugh. I like that he looks like a science teacher in the front and he’s all partytime in the back.

Andreas! There are four very interesting new species for you. And more if you click the link but those things were plants and bugs and such.

And as a special added bonus thing just for you and only because you’re sick and I know you love them:

A blue-ringed octopus! When it is threatened, the blue rings light up! They are only the size of a golf ball but they carry some of the most deadly venom on the planet! ON THE WHOLE PLANET!

Feel better, Andreas. You are my most favorite species. I hope I get to see your face on the interwebs tonight and that you are not constantly vomiting blood. If you are, let’s reschedule our chat tonight, ok? Cool. Thanks.

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This blog is just like “Wild Kingdom” only with more unsatisfying bird-sex.

Today we’re going to talk about the glory of birds. (WE…DID IT ALL…FOR THE GLORY OF BIRRRRRDS!) (Shut up, when I was a teen-Amy, that song was my FAVORITE, because I was all into the Karate Kid movies. I didn’t always make the best choices. Still don’t.)

AMY! WE JUST TALKED ABOUT BIRDS! you are yelling at me. DINOSAUR BIRDS!

Well, yes, we did. But we’re totally not talking about dinosaur birds today. We’re talking about awesome REGULAR birds that exist on our OWN PLANET NOW. And did I mention they’re awesome? Because they ARE.

I have a weird history with birds. (That sounds terrible and naughty. It was not meant that way. I promise.) I had a pair of lovebirds when I was in high school. I was so excited because they were the first pets I got to own MYSELF and they were MY PETS and I got to NAME them and I was VERY EXCITED ZOMG. Only come to find out they did one thing, and that one thing was screech. Constantly. They didn’t stop. They started out in my bedroom but then I couldn’t sleep so we moved them to the laundry room and then the whole family couldn’t sleep so then we moved them to the BASEMENT and we STILL couldn’t sleep so we gave them away. SO LOUD. So pretty and green with pretty faces but so loud. And also they totally didn’t let me touch them. I wanted to touch their pretty feathers and snappy beaks.

They were peach-faced lovebirds so they were really the prettiest.

They were peach-faced lovebirds so they were really the prettiest.

Then in grad school I knew someone with a parrot that tried to eat my whole ear and I totally bled all over the place. That parrot was smart and could say things and was crafty but also super-mean. And we had a parakeet at the pet store where I worked that could say its name (“EGGY!” and no, I don’t know why its name was Eggy, I assume because it said something that sounded like Eggy, and someone who worked at the pet store before me said, “That must be his name!”) He also would ride around on your shoulder and he never pooped on your shirt. I liked Eggy very much.

There are no pictures of what Eggy looked like online. This is close.

There are no pictures of what Eggy looked like online. This is close.

I also had a pair of birds right after grad school but when I moved I gave them away because I decided I was not a bird person. They ALSO did not let me touch them, and also birds are messy and make a lot of noise. I’m better with cats that knock over things when they fall off the bookcase. Or fish. I’m very good with fish. I want fish again someday.

ANYWAY, after I blogged about dinosaur birds who used their dancy rumps to get all the ladies, I got TWO VIDEOS about OTHER AWESOME BIRDS from TWO PEOPLE I LOVE. See what a lucky woman I am? The luckiest, is how lucky.

First, the amazing Mer who I miss like CRAZY posted the following video to my Facebook page after she read about dinosaur rump-shakery:

This is the Vogelkop Bowerbird. I had never heard of this bird before. Now it is one of my favorite new feathered friends.

Look at my pleasing display, yo!

Look at my pleasing display, yo!

In case you decide not to watch this totally kickass video, I will tell you the highlights.

  • the Vogelkop Bowerbird is an interior decorator. He lives in a little thatchy thing. Which is, given his name, not surprisingly, called a bower. And he DECORATES it. With things like fungus, leaves, insects, and in one case, DEER DUNG. Heh. 
  • these birds also like color schemes. They’re like wedding planners. The deer dung bird liked nature colors so he chose browns. The other bird liked brighter colors. Also, his insect decor kept crawling away, and he kept running back to retrive the insects and put them back where they belonged and it was SO FUNNY AND AWESOME.
  • The deer dung bird didn’t want the fungus that was growing in his dung to mess up his all-brown color scheme so he spent a long time plucking all the fungus out of the dung. These birds crack my shit UP. No pun intended with the shit and the dung.
  • The reason these birds decorate their little bowers is because the lady-birds choose their mates depending on whose display pleases them the most. Sex knows no species boundaries, my friends. None at all.
  • Near the end of the video there’s some total birdie-style sexing, for those of you who like such things. I’m looking at you, Ding Dong Joe. (Also, apparently birds are QUICK. Whoo! I don’t feel that lady-bird’s needs were at all satisfied.)

This bird lives in Indonesia so the odds are good I will never ever see this bird. I don’t know that I’ll ever go to Indonesia.

According to Wikipedia, the Satin Bowerbird chooses items of ALL THE SAME COLOR, so that one’s even MORE fun. These birds are enjoyable as hell.

He likes blue the MOST. ALL THE BLUE THINGS!

He likes blue the MOST. ALL THE BLUE THINGS!

Also, when I was playing this video, Dumbcat stood in the middle of the living room and turned his head all around and said, “Merouuu?” because he thought there were birds in the house. Dumbcat wants to eat a bird very badly. Or make friends with a bird. I’m not quite sure of his motivations, bird-wise.

Then I tweeted Andreas, totally taking him to task for not telling me about this amazing bird. Because he’s all sciency, you see. Andreas should tell me about ALL the things. (It never crossed my mind he wouldn’t know about these birds. And as you will see, I was right in that assumption, even though you know what they say about making asses out of both you AND me.)

He responded with:

Andreas makes me laugh and also smile with happiness. He’s just the best.

He then told me about the bird that only likes blue (I’m going to assume that’s the Satin Bowerbird) and then sent me the link to the NEXT video, and listen, this one’s ALSO an awesome bird. Check THIS one out:

This is the lyrebird. The lyrebird can make ALL THE SOUNDS. Not just other bird sounds. Did you watch that video? You should. It’s not even very long. And it’s totally the most entertaining. That bird is pretty and also VERY TALENTED.

Tail of PRETTINESS!!!

Tail of PRETTINESS!!!

It can make the following noises:

  • other birds;
  • photography equipment;
  • logging equipment like chainsaws; and
  • car alarms.

And they TOTALLY SOUND LIKE WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE. This bird sounds like he has a tape recorder in his throat. It is AMAZING. Plus he has a pretty tail, like a little mini-peacock.

THIS time, when I watched THIS video, Dumbcat LEAPT up onto the couch, and proceeded to crowd up onto my lap where the laptop was. I was all, “bub, what are we doing right now OH HUH THAT’S WELL NO LET’S NOT…” because he then attempted to lick the screen.

Apparently lyrebirds were more tempting than bowerbirds. Dumbcat wants to eat a lyrebird. Even though all those tailfeathers would make him sneeze and the minute it started making car-alarm noises, he’d get scared and hide in the pots-and-pans cupboard. (When the windows are open in the spring/summer, he also licks the screens when birds are on the porch. He doesn’t attempt to go THROUGH the screens. He’s hefty and totally could, if he wanted to. No, he just licks the metal screens. Because he’s…well, he’s my Dumbcat, I suppose.)

Also, I loved this video the most, because when the lyrebird made kookaburra noises, he was SO CONVINCING, a kookaburra totally came to see what was up. A KOOKABURRA! My favorite bird of ALL THE TIMES! Now I want a lyrebird AND a kookaburra. They would be the best of friends. I would name them Fred and Jimmy. Why? I don’t know, I don’t question your life choices. RUDE.

I like kookaburras because a., they seem to get the joke, b., when I saw one at the zoo it laughed JUST FOR ME, and c., when I was little Dad sang the kookaburra song with me. That's a lot of reasons, yo.

I like kookaburras because a., they seem to get the joke, b., when I saw one at the zoo it laughed JUST FOR ME, and c., when I was little Dad sang the kookaburra song with me. That’s a lot of reasons, yo.

Lyrebirds live in Australia, mate. I’d totally go to Australia and meet all the lyrebirds. And also all the kookaburras. And meet a guy with a sexy accent. And meet Nemo. Those things all can happen in Australia, I saw it on my teevee.

P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, Australia. IT WAS ON TEEVEE IT MUST BE TRUE!!!!

P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, Australia. ELLEN DEGENERES WAS A BLUE FISH AND SHE SAID IT ON MY TEEVEE IT MUST BE TRUE!!!!

So what have we learned today?

  • Bowerbirds are the interior decorators of the avian world
  • Bowerbirds only have sex for like thirty seconds
  • Female bowerbirds are probably bitter and grumpy due to that last tidbit of information
  • SATIN bowerbirds seem to only like blue things, which is super-selective and pretty
  • But, since they are bowerbirds, I assume they still are all wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am (SAD)
  • Lyrebirds are the best mimics ever and remind me of that guy from the Police Academy movies, only prettier
  • Lyrebirds can EVEN FOOL KOOKABURRAS
  • Andreas knows about all the birds, every last one of them
  • Dumbcat wants to either eat or make friends with a bird (debatable)

This has been a very big day, blog-wise. We have learned MANY THINGS. I think you’ll all want to take a nap now, probably. I can’t blame you.

If anyone has a lyrebird or a kookaburra they’re looking to rehome, you let me know. Dumbcat and I would take very good care of them. Promise.


Brains, rumps, and MYSTERIES in SPACE: must be science day!

Yet again, it is late and I spent a lot of the night doing THINGS. I really need a course in time management or something. Or someone to sit in my living room and say, “STOP EFFING AROUND ON THE INTERNET AND DO YOUR STUFF, YO!” Like a little gym trainer, only for internet usage. Or a little drill sergeant. “DROP AND GIMME TWENTY SOLDIER!!!”

GET OFFA THAT INTERNET NOW, PRIVATE! GO TO BED!

GET OFFA THAT INTERNET NOW, PRIVATE! GO TO BED!

Some of what I had to do was blog-related. Some was not. I had to play with the phone a little. It needed some apps on it. Like Pandora. Why didn’t you people tell me about how amazing Pandora is? I had it for like 4 seconds on The Phone With No Memory (which is how I will now refer to the Droid, may it rest in peace, it has since been donated to the battered women’s shelter) and then it sucked up all the memory so I couldn’t keep it. I now have all the stations and it already played a song that made me weep and weep and have a stomachache of memories, so PROBABLY that should make me hate it, but I don’t. I love it for being psychic. THANK YOU PANDORA!

Anyway, TODAY, we are talking about SCIENCE. Because often we don’t talk about it enough. And I feel this means we are underutilizing our Science Fellow. I mean, how often does a blog have a Science Fellow? And then not to use him enough? It’s a shame, really. (Not to mention, we have the BEST Science Fellow, who is also one of my absolute favorite human beings in this entire world. And there are a lot of people in the world. I just Googled it. About 7 billion people. I only have about, oh, let’s say, ten-ish favorite people? Maybe twelve, if I’m being totally gracious. I mean, I haven’t met ALL the people – and I don’t want to, honestly, people make me itchy – but to be one of 10 or 12 out of seven billion people is pretty damn good, yo. That’s just how awesome our Andreas is.)

So today we’re talking about the following:

  • Brains and the relative size thereof;
  • Sexy bird rump-shakery; and
  • Intergalactic flora.

All of these things, I’m sure, our Science Fellow will like to talk to us about. I feel like he should live closer. He could sit here and correct me as I write these things. Also maybe fix my heater, it’s being weird. Andreas, can you fix my heater? It’s being weird.

First! BRAINSSSSS! (Calm down, zombies, not for you.)

According to this article, big brains cost us a LOT. So really, it’s all about either being a dummy and having all the things or being a smartie and having to settle, I suppose. Grumble.

BRAIN!!!!

BRAIN!!!!

See, the bigger the brain, relatively, the more energy it needs. This takes energy away from other things, like reproduction. So, by experimenting on guppies (which are VERY much like humans, what with the gills and the swimming and the scales and all) they saw that the brainier guppies had fewer babies. I guess this is a problem if you’re a guppy, because they want to have all the babies. But isn’t there an overpopulation problem with humans? I don’t think we need to be having all the babies, even if we are the smartest. Maybe us smarties don’t WANT to have all the babies. Maybe we’re SELECTIVE about our baby-making. I feel like this is an indictment about smart people.

Then this article went on to say that the small family size may LEAD to large brains. Which I don’t know about. Do they mean that children from smaller families tend to have larger brains? Because they get more one-on-one time? I’m not really sure. I guess if that’s what they’re saying, I’m behind that. What do you think, Andreas, is that what they’re saying? This is not the best-written article, and I almost feel like it was translated from another language at times.

So I guess you can be dumb and have all the kids (and I’d like to say that maybe you’d be happier; I don’t know too many intelligent happy people, to be honest, because we tend to overthink) and be smart and have…less kids? I don’t know about this article at all. I know some smart people with large families. I know some not-so-smart people with small families. This is all very odd to me. Andreas, your turn, what the hell?

For example,if you have one of these...well, I'd wonder about your brain-size. (I like the zombie version of this, though.)

For example,if you have one of these…well, I’d wonder about your brain-size. (I like the zombie version of this, though.)

Next! SEXY BIRD RUMP-SHAKERY!

So apparently some birds woo each other with sexy rump-shakery. I like that. I like that some birds totally shake a tailfeather. And then that’s how they get the ladies.

Apparently, even DINOSAUR BIRDS used to rump-shake. You GUYS! Dinosaur birds!

Here is an oviraptor. Who knows if this is what they really looked like but dude, this tailfeather-thingy makes me laugh SO HARD. It looks like a dragonfly is attached to his tail-area. This dino-bird has all the bling.

So apparently oviraptors (which reminds me of those evil velociraptors from Jurassic Park that stalked those kids in the kitchen and that freaked my shit OUT, yo) used to dance for their lady-friends. To show their interest and such. How do scientists know this? I have no idea. I just think it’s kind of awesome.

Now, I am sad that men TODAY don’t dance to try to woo us. Just birds. What’s comparable to sexy bird rump-shakery in our menfolks today? Taking us out to dinner, I guess? SIGH NOT THE SAME. My version of sexy rump-shakery would be to…um…woo me with well-written emails. Write me something spectacular. Use grammar and puctuation well. Make me effing LAUGH. That’s my sexy rump-shakery right there. Someone else’s might be, oh, I don’t know, wherefore art thou Romeoing from the balcony or taking her to play skee-ball or one of those Bull Durham kisses that last three days, I can’t tell what your rump-shakery might be. I just know what mine is. And it’s words. Woo me with words and you’ve got me, fellas. You can bring me words instead of flowers. Flowers just die and drop all those messy petals on the rug and make me and Dumbcat sneeze, anyway.

*sigh* This'll do just fine.

*sigh* This’ll do just fine.

Finally: MARTIAN FLOWERS!

Look, the Mars Curiosity (which I will never think of without thinking of my beloved NASA mohawk dude, sigh…)

Also, his name is Bobak. SIGH SIGH.

Also, his name is Bobak. SIGH SIGH.

found a FLOWER on MARS.

I don’t think this looks like a flower. But they’re calling it a flower. I think it looks like a squished shiny frog, to be honest. Is this like a Rorshach test?

Apparently they found something else a few days ago they were all jazzed about and it was just space garbage because we’re tired of dirtying up our own planet so we’re leaving space-litter on OTHER planets now.

But THIS one, they don’t know what it is but it might be a mineral outcropping on Mars or it might be a MARTIAN SPACE FLOWER or it might just be a trick of the camera, who knows.

People make me smile. I don’t think it’s a mystery. It’s a rock. A shiny pretty rock. We have those on Earth, too. I pick ’em up a lot, bring ’em home. I like rocks a lot. Especially shiny ones.

But I also like a sense of magic and mystery. So, think it’s a space flower, my darlings. I will never be the one that tells you it’s not. If you want to think there are mysteries and magic on Mars, you can think that. I’ll let you.

I still think it looks like a squished shiny frog, though. And wouldn’t a squished shiny Martian space-frog be even COOLER than a space-flower?

I found this on a conspiracy site. These people think they already FOUND a space-frog! Huzzah!

I found this on a conspiracy site. These people think they already FOUND a space-frog! Huzzah!

There, Andreas, we have brains (not the zombie-kind) and sexy rump-shakery and suspicious Martian flora. ALL FOR YOU! VERY SCIENCY!

Also, Andreas, do you have the number for the NASA mohawk guy? Because I kind of want to…um…do PG-13 to R-rated things with him. And I’m sure all you sciency types have each other’s numbers. Thanks, Andreas, you’ve got my back.

Happy weekend, everyone!


Science: making you feel bad about your swimsuit areas. Sorry, swimsuit areas.

Apparently we’re all supposed to sleep around randomly and not ever get married ever, or maybe not.

IT IS SCIENCE! (Or maybe not.)

So I read this article a couple months ago and I saved it because it was interesting (but also totally kind of vague) and also SCIENCE and it talked about “horny papillae” and come ON, we all love to discuss things like horny papillae, don’t we? It’s like it was MADE for discussion over here.

Also, if there’s science, I think, “oh, Andreas will be so proud of me, because SCIENCE.” I do so like to make my Science Fellow proud of me.

So according to this article, back in the ancient days of yore, our ancestors (wait, we all agree we came from monkeys, right? Can we agree on that? Because if we can’t…well, I worry about your sanity. I found this for Andreas the other day and I think it would benefit ALL OF US EVERY LAST ONE OF US.)

ANYWAY, our ANCESTOR MONKEYS all had “horny papillae” on their penises. Yep. We’re totally talking about penises today. Only for a little while, though. I haven’t talked about penises OR sex lately and Ding Dong Joe’s getting all nervous I’ve forgotten about them.

Now, a lot of mammals still have these bumps. Guess what they’re for. NO GUESS.

You totally guessed for her pleasure, didn’t you? Like those terrible condoms that are lies lies lies? WRONG SALLY.

They are to make sex last LESS LONG. Yep. You read that right. Because in the animal kingdom, having Sting-style tantric sex ALL NIGHT LONG (all night) is not a good idea. You have to be doing other things. Like eating seeds and such. Or maybe other mammals or insects. Or fighting. There’s a lot of fighting in the animal kingdom, you know. Don’t you watch Animal Planet? Or Cops?

Even wee bebeh kittens fight!!!

Even wee bebeh kittens fight!!!

But HUMANS evolved PAST our horny papillae so we could trip the light fandango or get our oil changed or play hide the sausage for HOURS. Or whatever euphemisms you might like, you can pick. It’s really your call. Or if you want, you can ask Ken, he’s in charge of euphemisms. He’ll find one for you if you want. I’m sure he’d be happy to. Guy loves a challenge.

I know, I know, this has very little to do with marriage or not-marriage or all the sex, doesn’t it? I’m GETTING there. The scenic route is the way I go, chickadees, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Except for when I don’t, I like to shake off the people tailing me sometimes.

Anyway, science-types say that the reason we don’t have these bumps and lumps is to make sex last LONGER and be more PLEASING for BOTH PARTIES (whoo, THANKS, science, except for that one time…no, let’s not talk about that right now, except for to say NO THANK YOU FOR THAT TIME SCIENCE SIGH) and therefore this led to monogamy.

Except then the article got all vague and was like “although maybe not.”

Listen, article. You need to take a STAND. You need to be BRAVE. You can’t be all wishy-washy, it’s EMBARRASSING.

I learned things from this article, like only 1 in 6 societies enforce monogamy as a rule. Really? This seems low. I guess I believe it. What choice do I have? I don’t know all the rules of the world. Also I learned that back in the DAY, you weren’t allowed to have a formal concubine, but you were allowed to have all the sex with your slaves as you wanted. Well! That seems fun for the slaves. In a not-at-all fun way.

I feel the slaves maybe had enough to do without having to worry about your needs as well, guys.

I feel the slaves maybe had enough to do without having to worry about your needs as well, guys.

Then they talked to some sciency types who said “There are a few species that are monogamous…the fat-tailed dwarf lemur. The Malagasy giant jumping rat. You’ve got to look in the nooks and crannies to find them, though.”

Hee, “nooks and crannies.” Also, I’d have to wonder if it’s in the name. Like, who’d want to sleep with a fat-tailed dwarf lemur, or a Malagasy giant jumping rat? No one. Also, don’t call animals fat. Call ’em big-boned. It hurts their feelings to call them fat. They can’t help their genetics or if they like to eat all the snack cakes while watching Cheaters.

Stop negatively attacking my self-esteem, says the fat-tailed dwarf lemur. This one's name is Petunia.

Stop negatively attacking my self-esteem, says the fat-tailed dwarf lemur. This one’s name is Petunia.

Then the article started talking about testes size. YEP! We’re talking about PENISES and also TESTICLES today. Apparently animals that  cheat a lot have HUGE BALLS. Heh. So as better to spread all the seed. Then the article says – I’m not even kidding, sorry, fellas – “And what about a man’s testes? They’re not so big and not so little. They’re just eh.” Aw! Guys! Apparently human testes are just EH! I feel bad for your testes. THEY ARE LOVELY, GUYS. Don’t let the article make you feel bad about your swimsuit areas. BAD ARTICLE BAD.

Mostly, what the article said was “we don’t know if humans used to be monogamous or polygamous. Because we have no way of knowing such things. We think humans are monogamISH. WE SAID ISH. And we are SCIENTISTS. So stuff that in your pipes and smoke it.”

This worries me. Why can’t the scientists figure this shit out? (P.S., Andreas says that scientists don’t like to say “YES!” or “NO!” because if they’re wrong they look like assholes. Well, he didn’t say THAT. He’s much less vulgar and more well-spoken than I am. THANK YOU ANDREAS!)

Here’s my thought. (What, you thought I’d let it go without giving you my very sciency thoughts? Andreas, you need to read this article and give your thoughts, by the way. I bet you do better than the scientists. You can even say penis and testes as much as you want, and it’s not even filthy. I KNOW! Isn’t this the best? Sure it is.)

I know some people are all “I could never love just one person!” and that’s awesome. I don’t judge. (Well, unless you don’t tell the person you’re currently WITH you feel this way. I don’t think cheating is cool. I have weird values about cheating. Don’t ask. It’s one of my weirdly puritanical things. Or maybe it’s one of my weirdly Wiccan things – you’re not supposed to harm anyone in the Wiccan faith. And cheating always harms someone. Or multiple someones. I don’t think it’s a good idea. I also think it’s sneaky. I hate sneakiness and I hate lying.)

Also if you're not careful you'll end up on this show and it's SCANDALOUS, you guys.

Also if you’re not careful you’ll end up on this show and it’s SCANDALOUS, you guys.

But I’m very one-persony. If I’m in love with someone…that’s my person. I’m a baby duck who imprinted when I’m in love with someone, I’ll totally admit it. Mostly this might be because it doesn’t happen very often? And so when it does, that person is SPECIAL. Also, I fight it. I realize I’m falling for someone and I’m like “NOPE STOP THAT THIS WON’T END WELL!” but if it’s meant to be, my stupid heart wins out and then I’m in for trouble. Hoo, boy, am I. So if I went through ALL THAT why would I want to be with someone ELSE? That was a lot of work. A LOT of work.

Here's me. Imprinting on a corgi, apparently.

Here’s me. Imprinting on a corgi, apparently.

So…I guess mostly I don’t understand polygamy? Because I don’t WANT to be with more than one person. I want ONE person. And hopefully that imaginary nebulous person would feel the same? I mean, that would be the goal, anyway? Also, I’m a (what? shock! awe!) very jealous person. I always thought that would be the worst part of being in a polygamous relationship. Wouldn’t you be so jealous of the other wives (or if you’re male, husbands?) Wouldn’t you think, “s/he looked at my sister wife/brother husband a little longer than s/he looked at me at dinner…does s/he like them better? WHY WHY WHY?” and then the whole thing would self-destruct?

Maybe most people aren’t as jealous as I am? What say you, readers, don’t you think you’d get so jealous if your husband was having sex with say 5 other women or something, or vice-versa sex-wise, men? Or am I out of my mind and old-fashioned and it would be awesome?

So…are we SUPPOSED to be monogamous? I don’t know. Probably not. I think we’re SUPPOSED to probably spread the seed all over and make a billion babies, right? That’s the way mammals work, isn’t it? Procreate? All you can? Like bunnies?

(This is mostly for Andreas because I know he loves this song as much as I do.)

(This is mostly for Andreas because I know he loves this song as much as I do.)

I guess what you decide to do really boils down to how your heart works. And some of us have weird loyal clockwork hearts that latch onto one person and that’s it, we’re done; and some of us are more open to lots of love, I suppose. Either way’s cool with me, just, like I said, don’t hurt anyone.

So…in summation:

  • horny papillae
  • penis
  • testes

You’re welcome, Ding Dong Joe. Don’t say I never gave you anything.


And you’ve got your father’s eyes; lovely bold eyes

I was talking to Dad today. Dad gave blood today, see.

Dad believes very highly in giving blood. He does it on the exact day he’s allowed to every…whatever it is, three months or something? I don’t know. I’m not allowed to give blood. Because I have mad cow disease, remember? (If you read that – well, the formatting is terrible. I just don’t have time to go back in and fix it. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am sleepy and need to go to bed, like, immediately. Pardon my rudeness.)

So he was telling me this WHOLE DETAILED STORY. And you guys. YOU GUYS. Listen, it was so like reading one of my blog posts or listening to myself talk. And I was just seriously in tears of laughter.

“So I went to give blood, because it was TIME, and the first lady asked me a whole bunch of questions, and then they sent over this OTHER lady. And she was trying to be my FRIEND. I didn’t want to be friends. I just wanted to give BLOOD. Because that’s what a person DOES. Unless they have MAD COW DISEASE. Because they lived in ENGLAND for like half a YEAR and a person couldn’t even TALK to them because of the TIME difference. So the lady first asked me a bunch of questions and she kept laughing but the answers weren’t even FUNNY. And then she told me to lie down on the table and then she told me my veins looked better when I was on the table. Do you think she was flirting with me? Because she was old and kind of strange-looking. Then she asked if I was allergic to iodine. WHO IS ALLERGIC TO IODINE? Only maybe people in the CIRCUS. So then she said ‘you have to let me rub this on your arm for thirty full seconds.’ That seems excessive. I’ve been giving blood since I was old enough to. I KNOW ABOUT IODINE. Also, did you know when you get old, your blood doesn’t flow as quickly as it used to? I don’t even win awards for the fastest blood anymore. I think my blood is the kind of blood a person has right before they’re about to die. So then she said, ‘are you ready for a little poke?’ NO ONE SHOULD SAY THAT. Don’t TELL someone they’re going to get a poke. DON’T DO THAT. Then she said, ‘ok, you have VERY THICK SKIN!’ and POKED ME SO SO HARD. My feet FLEW OFF THE TABLE. And she said, ‘did I hurt you ha ha?’ and I think that needle was very dull because I have EXCELLENT skin. Then when it was done she said she was sorry she hurt me and I said, ‘I am very tough. You didn’t hurt me. You SURPRISED me, that’s all. Where’s my coupon for free ice cream.” AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY MORE COUPONS. They gave me a coupon for a free oil change at that place where they screwed over your mother that time and we don’t go there because they’re dead to us so I will burn it in the stove. There’s a story for you, now I’m going to go have some cheese. Your mother bought me CHEESE today. CHEESE, Amy!”

This made me think about genetics. And also learned behavior. Nature vs. nurture, if you will. (And also how nice it would be if someone bought me some cheese.)

*Homer Simpson drool*

The things we get from our parents – well, we get lots of things. I have my dad’s eyes and my mom’s face and my mom’s widow’s peak and my dad’s cleft chin and my dad’s feet and my mom’s smile and am built from the waist up like my mom’s side of the family and from the waist down like my dad’s side of the family. So I’m kind of like a Build-a-Bear. A weirdly-shaped Build-a-Bear. (Don’t even ask me where my unruly hair came from. I have no idea who to blame for this nonsense.)

Oh, I want to be this Build a Bear, LOOK HOW FANCY.

But then we start acquiring other traits once we get old enough to learn things. And that’s where it starts getting really interesting. Because we can’t do much about the genetic stuff. I mean, well, I suppose we COULD, if we wanted to spend money on plastic surgery (or, on a smaller scale, hair dye, or something.) But we CAN do something about the learned traits. Or we can do nothing and allow them to become part of us, if we want.

Oh, I like this. Andreas, what do we think of this?

I somehow got very little from my mom (which, as I’ve mentioned, is ironic, as she was my primary caregiver growing up.) I got my work ethic from her, I think (although Dad has a pretty kickass work ethic, too. They’re both pretty worky.) She’s more accepting of the “other” (“other” what, Amy? Other anything. Beliefs, races, etc. Dad’s…more…slow to…um. Be accepting. He does not like things that are different. DIFFERENCE IS SCARY!) I’m kind of trying to think of what else is Mom-influenced and I’m at a loss. Mom and I kind of run in different circles.

Now, I’m not talking about what we LEARN from our parents. Like crocheting or cooking how to change a wiper blade or something. Not things that we’re taught on purpose. I’m talking about things we see and imitate, either consciously or subconsciously.

I might not have gotten much from Mom. Dad, however? Dad and I are sympatico.

We might not agree* (*completely disagree to the point of screaming at one another) on things like politics and women’s issues, but you know how some people are all “ZOMG I AM TURNING INTO MY MOTHER?” Yeah. I’m turning into my Dad. (NO NOT IN A WEIRD WAY. I’m not growing chest hair or something. Wait, am I? No. No, I’m not.)

I like the slippers. Dad TOTALLY has slippers. He says he wants to be buried with them.

Dad is insanely loyal. Dad has a very small group of very close friends for whom he would do just about anything (and has, and would continue to.) Dad’s people’s enemies are his enemies – heaven help you if you cross one of Dad’s friends, because you bought yourself TWO enemies, bub. Dad is sarcastic just about always, except when he’s being sappy. Dad wants a lot of attention but also he wants you to leave him alone. Dad tells these long, convoluted stories (see above.) Dad doesn’t believe in telling people things – not unless they’re for sure. NO COUNTING CHICKENS FOR DAD. (And honestly just about ever. He’s horrified I tell strangers things online. UTTERLY HORRIFIED. Every once and a while I’ll find out something about him and I’ll be all, “WTH? Dad? Why were we not telling me this for like, my whole life?” He’ll shrug and say “Didn’t think you needed to know.”) Dad has very little time for pompous blowhards. (And often makes faces at them behind their backs. Not that I’d ever do that.) (I always do that.) Dad refuses to give people compliments when they’re making that face. You know that face, right? That, “I just got a haircut DON’T I LOOK PRETTY TELL ME TELL ME!” face. Dad will give compliments – but only when they’re genuine and unsolicited. (I refuse to give false compliments. If you hear/see me complimenting something, or you? It’s genuine. Because false compliments are like ashes in my mouth. I hate them so much. They make my soul feel dirty.) Dad is a performer – not onstage, so much, but at parties and in social gatherings and such. He’s the one everyone wants to talk to and he’s the one that’s the life of the party. Thing is? He hates parties and social gatherings and it’s all a front. He comes home exhausted because he’s been acting all night. Dad doesn’t talk to kids like they’re adults with brain injuries – he talks to them like they’re little people. (Watching him and The Nephew is such a joyous thing, I can’t even describe.) If someone he loved once betrays his trust (and it’s an utter and complete trust, the trust we give to our people), they are dead to him. DEAD. (I’ve seen this happen. It’s uncomfortable and it’s not pretty. The other day, one of my friends said, “Oh, Amy’s the best friend ever – but don’t cross her. She’ll kill you with her eyes if she hates you.” I WILL, TOO. Don’t even tempt me. I use mind-bullets. So, yeah, the dead-to-me thing? I do that. I do that, too. And people know. And it PETRIFIES them, apparently. I should probably feel worse about this, and I don’t know that the person saying it meant it as a compliment, but mostly my first thought was, “well, that person shouldn’t have pissed me off. Also, I AM the best friend ever. I’d want me for a friend.”)

You know how you don’t mess with a mama bear? I won’t flat-out TELL you I get all teeth and claws if you think you can mess with my people…but you can draw your own conclusions.

These may not all be NORMAL things, but they’re all things I grew up observing – and I picked them all up. They’re all mine now.

This tickles him to no end. “Oh, I do that!” he’ll say when I act a certain way or do a certain thing. It just utterly delights him. He can’t for the life of him figure out how he’s partially responsible, DNA-wise, for a bleeding-heart liberal feminist who wants to live in a big city and loves theater (he blames the government, of course), but he loves that despite these “flaws,” something of his stuck.

“Of course you don’t give people compliments if they want them that badly,” he’ll say. “That’s just begging. You don’t give to beggars. That just encourages them.”

Or:

“Of course people are dead to you. Listen, if you are friends with someone and they’re your friend, that’s like an unwritten contract. And you don’t break that contract. That’s not something we do. But if that friend does? Well. They’re dead. DEAD. Sometimes they apologize, and I guess you can decide whether or not you want to forgive them. But some things are unforgivable. So they should just not bother, because who talks to dead people? Only people who see ghosts like that douche on that ghost hunter show you’re always trying to get me to watch.”

So when people debate nature vs. nurture and such, here’s my thought.

You pick up things from the people that raise you. Then you can decide what you keep and what you don’t. Maybe it’s that you keep more things from the people you admire? If that’s the case, well, yeah, that works. I admire my dad. I admire him a lot. Most little girls want to be their moms when they grow up; I always wanted to be my dad. (Only with boobs. I wanted to be a lady-version of my dad. Like when Bugs Bunny wore the lady-clothes, I guess.)

I jettisoned (almost immediately) the religion and the political ideology and the small-town-ideals. They didn’t fit in my backpack. And you have to carry that backpack with you through your whole life. You really have to make sure you have enough room for everything.

But I kept a lot more than I threw away in that backpack.

And when I look in the mirror, I might see my mom’s face (mostly) looking back at me, but I see my dad’s twinkle in my eye. And my brain works like his. And I love my friends to the point I’d jump in front of herds of stampeding water buffalo for them, and I tell The Nephew long words like “antiquated” and he laughs and laughs and repeats it which makes my heart sing and if anyone messes with my people I go all Sharks and Jets in my head (and sometimes more – I’m all give peace a chance unless you dare hurt my loved ones, and that is a fact, so probably don’t try it) and I play my personal shit very, very close to the vest. (Yes, I write about stuff on here. The things I DON’T tell you, though. Whoo, boy.)

I’m a lady of a billion weird contradictions. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

So I guess, if you like the blog, even though he’d never admit it and probably wants nothing to do with it?

You’ve got to thank Amy’s Dad.

He’s the original storyteller.

Even though he’s apparently on the way out. Because he’s got slow old-man blood.

(Title from The Story’s lovely “So Much Mine,” which sometimes I listen to and it always makes me melancholy. When I was younger it made me think of myself. Now I’m old and it makes me think of The Nephew. And it’s the CIRCLE of LIFEEEEEEE!)


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