Monthly Archives: August 1999

is it fair of me to be upset that i, as a female am an _object_ of man’s desire? i went to my hometown this week and spent the entire time being reminded that i have a vagina. “hey baby” and “what a cute little girl” and “come home with me” and other types of requests for pleasure came out of men’s mouths. they have been taught that women “appreciate” this type of attitude, because it is a compliment. they are never told that it is degrading or frustrating. i get furious and upset but everyone around me tells me i am crazy for being bothered by this, that i should take it as a compliment and that most women would love that attention. i find myself aiming to look more ridiculous and unappealing to the opposite sex. i don’t want to be an object; i just want to live my life as any other human, or should i say as the dominant male culture is permitted. i don’t want to “deserve” to be raped based on my appearance; i don’t want to be hit on by gas attendents, i just want to get my gas.

the thing that bothers me most is that other women don’t seem to feel the same way. they _want_ to be hit on by men at any given point; they want to be distracted by men’s dumb come-ons. and thus, it continues in our culture and I am the one blamed, because i complain that this isn’t right. i am just confused…

i am trying really hard to get back in the mindset to write those stupid graduate school applications and in order to start thinking about it, i started thinking about how i learned to love a computer… but then i realized that i hate them, still… anyhow, this was the rambling that ended up coming out. now, it is _not_ going to be used in my application but it sure is funny to read… tehehe.

How I Learned to Love the Computer, and Then Return to Hating It.

As a child, I despised computers. I saw them as objects that took up time in a non-social and boring manner. Either you played games on them or you wrote papers. There seemed to be no other point to having a computer, so I pretended that the computer did not exist.

I could not avoid the computer for very long. Schools started requiring you to type papers, either on a typewriter or a computer, and the computer was easier. But it was middle school that forced me to use the computer. Lego Logo. Our entire class was taught how to make this “turtle” move on a piece of paper in the middle of a class using simple commands that we inputted into the computer. Knowing how much I loved math, the teacher tried to motivate me by showing me how I could display interesting mathematical concepts using these simple inputs. I made my own fractals and found interesting ways to do animations. Suddenly, something about computers interested me! But that class ended and we were back to games and typing and I was bored. I even cheated on my typing-skills test, promising myself that I would never learn to type “right”.

At home, my brother adored the computer and my mother purchased one to amuse him. He loved the games and he collected electronic toys that interacted with the computer. I continued to ignore this “revolution.” At one point, my mother agreed to pay $29.95 per month for him to have an 8600 baud connection to “the Internet” for 12 hours per week. I don’t remember how I learned that this meant a connection to other people, but I did. Suddenly, computers had a new meaning to me, once again. Computers did not have to take away one’s community or eliminate socialization; instead, computers could allow you to have an enhanced way of communicating with other people, through space and time. That is when my addiction started. Every night, I jumped on to various chatrooms and irc channels and emailed random strangers in an attempt to make new friends. My school friends started joining me and we had deeper conversations than we had ever had in real space. The computer allowed me to actually share emotions and feelings with other people in a healthy manner. It allowed me to connect to people like me as well as those who weren’t. At this point, my addiction started because the computer had a purpose.

Although the computer allowed me to connect to people, I realized pretty quickly that what existed was pretty underdeveloped and non-stable. But, in my mind, it was a damn good start. In college, I decided to major in computer science, to further this newfound interest. My first class in computer science captured my attention, as I learned to make the computer allow for interaction between the user and the computer. This made me realize how much control I had over what it displayed me and I fell in love with the discipline and the way of thinking. No longer was I motivated to study mathematics; instead, I wanted to make the computer do things that could never be done before. I took more and more computing classes.

Unfortunately, the followup courses were not similar to the introductory course. While the introductory course focused on ways of thinking and ways of interacting with the system, the following courses focused on elements of the computer – how it worked (machine level, assembly), how to design programs for it and make them efficient (data structures, operating systems, graphics), what the theory behind the machine is, etc. This bored me to tears!

I realized that it was not the machine that I loved, but rather the possibilities that the computer acknowledged. I wanted to be a part of the group who made technology further our potential as humans, further our connections with one another and study the ways in which we, as people, think. The computer is a tool and it has offered us a future; it has given us a new way of thinking. Now, I want to move beyond those basics and allow for the technology to not be a separate thing but an ingrained, ubiquitous element of our daily culture, there to help us reach our full potential.

still at home, trying to relax and chill but my family is as neurotic as ever.. which is also super fun. i finally talked with my mom about who i sleep with and the fact that they aren’t all the same sex. her response was that nothing surprises her anymore. we also talked about drugs and she was less than thrilled that i had tried lsd, as she remembers in her days of teaching handicapped children that not all the children of the 60’s came out ok… she worries for whatever genetic changes are possible. that i understand… maybe i should stop doing acid… but i did get to smoke last nite which as sweet (and relaxing). mom and i talked for a long while and she kept making me laugh with silly stories… sometimes, it is super fun to be home.

i also went to visit my old high school and elementary school (since my brother is now working in the school district. it was quite disturbing. i had flashbacks of the 5th grade when i acted in cinerella as the queen… walking down those hallways was strange. i also found the room of mrs. h, who i helped to drive insane… she went away on mental leave when i was in 4th grade. i tracked down former teachers (gosh, i forgot how gay-acting all the men in elementary schools are…. i truly wonder if they are gay and just don’t know it or do and won’t admit it). it was strange to hear astronomy lessons coming out of the astronomy room, since the previous teacher had been convicted of molesting little boys… most of the teachers i knew have since retired but my favorite is still there…. i stopped by to give him a copy of “horace’s compromise” by ted sizer. i am psyched to hear his response… he is such a sweetie! gotta love that one teacher..

ok.. i am going to motivate to work!

tonite, i decided to drive home.. to my home of homes, the place where my family still resides. it is a pretty generic 5 hour drive but it always allows me to think strange thoughts and view the world’s distances from a new perspective. with the amount of traveling that i have done in the last six months, i have a better sense of geography than any teacher could have ever taught me and even a better sense of cultural differences. for that reason i love the trip.

tonite’s trip was icky and rainy, very gross. of course, it didn’t help that i left at 9PM and was driving really late. at one point, i finally got pulled over for speeding… took long enough. i was honest, didn’t question anything and he only gave me a warning for the speeding! i had passed him going almost 90 miles per hour!!! but, he did give me a ticket for not having my license on me (the one that i lost in a bar in boston when da boys decided to get me drunk and talking!!). so now i owe $45 to the state of new jersey for not carrying my driver’s license… and i even had my passport on me and told the cop that i was going to my home state to get a new license… silliness.

so this made me think about laws and regulations that various states have. think about it – how many stupid laws exist that we follow blindly every day? even speed limits exist because of the oil shortage in the 70’s, not because people genuinely believe they protect us. so we pay for half of a police force to sit and watch how fast we go on the highway??? this seems absurd to me. this is not the land of freedom, far from it. we have created so many restrictions that i would bet the average american commits 10 illegal acts per day, and this is a conservative guess. hell, we don’t know what is legal or not. i know that in florida, it is illegal for me to be on the streets without a man… and there are clothing restrictions too. we seem to ignore these dumb “blue” laws, although they come back to haunt us (sexual laws, housing code laws, etc). how do we as a culture put up with this? why do we allow for our “representatives” to take away our freedoms for nothing in return? honestly, i would be shocked to hear anyone say that the laws we have made in the last 10 years have truly altered the path of our society. frankly, i still live by utah phillip’s quote from a guy he met – “your damn laws; the good people don’t need em and the bad people don’t follow em”. what does that say?

so, in my fantasy world, i imagined that i ran for public office, dedicated to bringing freedom back to our society. i did not hide who i am or what i am about and i refused to play bad politician.. it was fun!

i picked up the latest life magazine, which is highly dedicated to comparing the populations feelings towards school now and school in the 50s. can you believe more people want religion in school today than back then?? this is not a land of free thinking, this is not a land where people are encouraged to explore and evolve. this land is stuck in its own fear and self-obsession. it is a disgrace to the term freedom and i am insulted to be an american. i was thinking that it would be nice to run away to a place where there were no “rulers” but that place does not exist. maybe christiana in denmark, but that is about as close as it gets. it infuriates me to think that i have no true control over my own actions… i am not free, i am bound by the land i live in and i have no control otherwise.

personally, i feel as though the only laws that exist should be to guarentee you the right to the pursuit of happiness. in this, i mean that what should be illegal are actions that cause you or others not to do this (murder, rape, violent acts, stealing, etc.). it is absurd that i can get more jail time for using marijuana than a man can for raping me. it is absurd that i am fined more for driving 90 in a 60 than i am for stealing money from a 7/11. what does this say about our culture?

speaking of which, what is our culture? what is culture? what binds us together as a people? is it the land? the law? how does culture evolve? how do cultures merge? can they merge peacefully?

i can definitely feel the maleness of this world and it confuses me in a big way… everything seems so masculinely dominated in an evil sense of the concept.

one other quick thought that came through my head while driving (and then i go to sleep). i realized that there are specific cues that i use when driving. i use the red lights and how far away they are from me at any given point (using trig) and i use the distance and brightness of the lines on the road to give me where to turn, what to do, etc. also, i find that i feel super fucking butchy when i am driving fast… i wonder if testosterone is kicking in… i feel so mannish in that position. oh well, goodnite!

i am waiting for my body to drain itself of all unnecessary tissue that it had created in preparation for my non-existant pregnancy. this shall be the first menstruation that i will have, free of medication, in over 6 years. i am both anxious and apprehensive. i want my body to take control and react comfortable, welcoming in the monthly recognition of womanhood with pride and joy, instead of with the usual screaming, bawling, anger and hostility that tends to cloud my days at this time of the month.

i lived with this woman once whose body was less than healthy. as a result, menstruating was a sign that her body would survive one more month quasi-pleasantly. we used to sit around and watch as she did each type of ritual from each religion and spiritual group in order to convince her system to menstruate. watching her gave me utter joy, as i did not have the same relationship with my cunt during this period of the month.

i do honestly try to love my period but i cannot convince my mind to obey when it is boggled down with various aches and chemical turmoil. i so long to be at peace with that element of my self, to appreciate my body, to be in tune with the moon, etc… but right now, i just want to scrape the insides of my stomach out and plop them down in front of the next male who pisses me off… i know, i know, this is _not_ a healthy attitude… i am working on healthy.

sex and power. foucault, butler, paglia. control. passion, pleasure.

today was a day of contemplation about one of my favorite topics – sex…. i was sitting with a friend who is always interested in how i lead my sex life (silly thing) and he edged me in the direction of the perfect me topic – sex. the discussion was actually aimed at one subtopic of that large topic. in particular, i was talking about pleasure.

pleasure is an essential element of sexuality (unless, of course you are a friend of phelps or falwell). unfortunately, most people don’t know how to acquire ultimate pleasure in a sexual relationship. there is too much baggage and confusion. unfortunately, while the thoughts are 100% clear in my head, i am not quite certain how to express the relationship between everything in a clear fashion… and thus, i will ramble.

the first requirement of a healthy sexual relationship is communication. without proper communication, any relationship falters. in the same way, ultimate pleasure cannot be achieved without proper communication. acquiring pleasure is pretty simple. masturbation gives one level of pleasure while sex with another person adds to it. but there is something to be said about relationships that are beyond one-nite stands. this is because in order to achieve _good_ pleasure, one must be in tune with the other person/people who are “pleasing.”

while i can think myself to orgasm, i can also think myself to calmness, becoming untickelish and unsexual. in the same, i can reverse that and there are obvious default states. because of this, i can usually achieve a certain level of pleasure with myself and more with a lover. the thing is that i am also capable of reaching the maximized overly-amazing orgasm but only under certain conditions and currently, only one person is even remotely capable of doing that to me…. that is the ultimate pleasure and it comes in only one way. when communication is strong and my partner can read my every action, s/he can please me… not by doing what i want hir to do but by surprising me in a way that only someone who knows me so intimately can ever do.

so what does this mean? this means that, while pleasure can be achieved with little effort, ultimate pleasure requires much more. i like to think of this in the way that Arthur Dent explained flying in hitchiker’s guide to the galaxy – in order to fly, you must aim at the ground and miss. you cannot concentrate too much nor can you not concentrate. your partner must be tuned to hear your every sound and feel your every move. you must understand each other purely and cherish that bond… sex is the ultimate pleasure but you must learn to access it to its fullest potential..

last nite, i had the strangest dream… (gosh, i feel like breaking into song after that statement: i sailed away to china… on a little row boat to find ya and you said you had to get your laundry clean….) anyhow, i had a dream… (damn… fucked again).

nite. me. dream.

i was in a city but it was not a city that i recognized… instead, a combination of cities. there was public transit everywhere, kinda like amsterdam’s intercity transportation. there were shops everywhere and the language of the city was english. i was there with a lot of people that i know, many of whom i tend to only see at siggraph. maybe it was siggraph but we were certainly not attending events related to siggraph.

somehow, in the ?past? two guys had raped me. i didn’t know the name of the two guys, although the second one worked at pixar??? i went to a movie theatre with a bunch of people (including my lover and some other friends). we were going to see the last movie of the nite, which ended up being “i know what you did last summer”. i was not too thrilled with the movie but “oh well”. the theatre was not a normal theatre. it was a stadium and the movie was playing on multiple sides at once… thousands and thousand of people came to see this 12:05 movie. we were a bit late and having trouble finding seats for 3.. apparently, some seats were reserved and we ended up sitting in seats belonging to pixar. a friend at pixar, r, was dating a really annoying girl from my university, m, and we had accidentally sat in their seats. we didn’t really figure it would be a problem since we wanted to run into r and m soon. well, the pixar guys were less than thrilled and started yelling at us, saying we didn’t belong there and we weren’t wanted and whatnot… freaky shit.

anyhow, i decided to split up from the group in order to find s, a friend that i knew would be there… by the time i found him, he was starting the locomotion train around the theatre… it sorta broke into complete dance ritual and we made our way down to the main stage, with lots of people, dancing and having a good ole time. it was absolutely ridiculous…

at some point, guy two came on stage and decided to dance with me and i flipped out in horror, flashing back to everything that happened with the rape. these details are kinda fuzzy in my head.. but basically, i remember being trapped in his apartment and being forced to have sex with him. he loved pain so nothing i did stopped him… i remember kicking him in the balls over and over again but it didn’t work. there was another woman there but to no avail… she was enjoying this. he forced me into anal penetration and caused me great harm. he thought this was his right and didn’t feel guilty about it… i remember getting ahold of a phone and calling 911 but they didn’t care… they said i was there on my own volition and i deserved it.

at one point, i escaped, without clothing, bleeding and atrocious but noone cared; i was a girl. it was really freaky.

anyhow, i flipped out at the movie theatre and tried to find my lover (who knew everything) but i failed. as a result, i lost everyone that i was with and the mass hysteria was aiming towards the door and towards the public transit… now, i was on escape from this guy. unfortunately, he was following me, knowing i was alone. i rushed into this cookie store (that was right next to a juice store) and he rushed into the juice store to get a drink and then trapped me into the cookie store. guy one came in and wisked me away and i flashed back to everything he did to me.. although i cannot remember it at this point.. i remember it being very fancy but other than that i fail. i was frightened and a mess.. freezing and horrified…. he and his friends took me to another outdoor place (and it was light out???) where he proceeded to APOLOGIZE??? for everything that had happened. he gave me two checks.. one was over $1600 and the other was over $600 and he gave me tons of pictures and an apology letter and all of this stuff.. it was super strange.

then, i ended up in a hottub (it was dark again) in the middle of the city, where i was supposed to meet my lover. boy two reappared but my lover appeared just in time and we rushed out in avoidance and managed to get back to my place (i was still staying with eva in amsterdam??).

anyhow, these are the bits that i can remember at this point.

conference is over. i just spent the last week in los angeles at siggraph, learning more about myself and having a most amazing time. i have a lot to share at this point but rather than trying to date things individually, i have decided to lump it together in an attempt to show coherence. this is my story of the week.

arrive at nite, tired and confused… get the dinner and then prepare for a full day of work… next day, set up our demo in preparation for a long week. successful setup and we head to the beach to celebrate. i burn the hell outta my body, a reminder of my whiteness that has resulted in my current peeling state. my lover arrives, surprising me with his timing… my friends start arriving and we continue our ritual of playing and having fun.

figueroa is our hangout space and i spend every nite there in the hottub, happily naked. what a wonderful experience. i work hard during the day, either demoing to LOTS of people or seeing various panels and papers. at every opportunity, i take a break to talk with my friends.

conversation and sex is the theme of this week. one boy, a youngin in my lab amuses me greatly. we begin to flirt out of pure ridiculousness. on one occasion, in the hottub, he was so drunk that he decided sex was important. i pushed him off. i realize more and more that i don’t like pushy people invading my sex life, particularly boys. i retrieve to my friends, all graduates from my school over many generations. it is quite wonderful to be there with them and our talks become intriguing and motivating. flirtation gets to be wonderful. in particular, i find myself extremely attracted to one individual, flirting intensely with him at any opportunity… flirtation comes right back and we become closer and closer. his sense of humor and attitude is extremely similar to my lover and the two of them begin a rewarding relationship. one nite, we acknowledge our dual interest and express our passion in his bedroom. my lover approves.

that same evening, a crazy woman attempts to get me to come home with her. she is the lover of a boy i slept with last year. he disapproves but she is not my type anyhow.

the following nite, things get outta hand. five of us decide to appreciate the happiness mixed with the warmth of the pool. following the pool, we rent a hotel room and another woman joins us. an orgy begins and it is intense. the cute boy from the previous nite and my lover impress me by showing their caring through kissing. i enjoy every minute of it, being turned on by the two of them. it is intense and beautiful, gorgeous in every way except that i only get 15 minutes of sleep.

we pack up the entire project and i decide to stay for the weekend. my back is trashed and i cannot handle the flight… or at least that is what i told the person at the counter. it was not too far off.. only i wanted more sex as well. sure enough, i got my fair share. my lover and i crashed outta exhaustion and spent the next day at the beach. afterwards, he disappeared to san francisco and i continued on with cute boy and his friend.

we went to a small house party at another friend’s place and it reminded me so much of the attitde of bridget jones’ diary. it was quite pleasant and i enjoyed getting to know random people. it was so magnificant. the next party was hysterical. we continued on to a party celebrating the production of a play in hollywood. this was beyond my understanding. our car was parked with valet service and there were caterers who served cavier and large amounts of alcohol (anything you wanted). people were wearing fancy suits and coctail gowns. i couldn’t believe the high-classness of it all. the house overlooked most of hollywood and it was a gorgeous view. i couldn’t believe it. i couldn’t believe i was at this party. luckily, i was quite capable of keeping up with conversation. the cute guy and i kept going, keeping each other entertained.. we couldn’t stop talking.

the two of us left the party around midnite and headed back to the hotel where we spent the nite pleasing one another in many different fashions. it was highly intense and beautiful. we had a great time playing off of one another in every way possible.. wow.

and now i am on the plane….

so that is the week in a quick overview.. but i have things to say that don’t work in a timeline.

s, a friend from my first year at school, taught me how to play a game called set. what a wonderful game… mentally stimulating like nothing else. i couldn’t believe how great it was. i played for many many hours with a whole variety of people… addicting!

i now appreciate star wars on a whole new level. the graphics were clearly explained throughout the conference and it was super super impressive. i didn’t even realize it.

in addition, i had a wonderful conversation about eyes wide shut and all of the potential meanings that kubrick had. we talked about jealousy and testing boundaries and whatnot… it was wonderful.

in addition to crazy sex and orgies, the cute boy and i talked for hours and hours about a whole lot of crazy topics, in particular what a relationship is and how to make oneself happy and have a non-monogamous relationship. it was quite impressive. i loved his company and his insight. i realized more and more how similar he is to my lover and that excited me so much. each nite we got more and more in depth into conversation and at one point he mentionned that he adored me because he loves being around intelligent lovers. i enjoyed that immensely.

i am beyond delirious but insomnia has set in. it is two o’clock. no, not two o’clock in the nite… two o’clock in the afternoon. i slept for 6 hours saturday nite; it is now monday. i have been helping my friends get their siggraph installation together. it is great to help them but now my body is super super confused. poor thing.

recently, two friends have also told me about their startup idea and i have been doing quite a bit of thinking about that and how to make the interface that they need accessible to the people that they want. it has been a fun problem… unfortunately, due to nda, that is about all i can share.

life has had a peculiar simplicity to it… life=me+work+thinking… that is about all i do these days and i kinda get my jollies off of it… i like the idea that i get paid to think and talk and work with people. yum.. but it does all blend together which is strange… but it makes a day enjoyable and it makes me want to do graduate school, both of which are super super good