Wednesday, December 05, 2012


Sometimes I feel so angry, I want to punch my fist through someone's face, like in those really cool, violent movies. Like today, when I thought I was going to meet with my department chair about a job offer, but instead was asked about sexual harassment in school. I don't mind the question, but I genuinely mind the loss of time spent wondering and hoping about the meaning of this meeting. It may seem trivial, but I got my damn hopes up, and instead of getting a nice job that would fund my occasional food-and-shelter-addiction, I got to confirm that no professor has ever pressured me for sex. Not an efficient use of my time. Silver lining? At least I got to make an impression with the new dean. That's a pretty slim sliver lining, though. Compared to the possibility to almost-gainful employment. Or any of the other interesting things I had cooked up. But, alas, disappointment is old friend who doesn't care what else you have going on, he's crashing on your mental couch all week. That metaphor may not have worked.
I had hoped by this point in writing I would have stumbled across some sort of larger meaning, something about the nature of expectations or the troubling frequency of sexualization in what should be de-sexualized contexts. But instead I am wrapped up in my own frustration and self-centeredly fantasizing about a larger bank account. I may be becoming a less interesting person.
Only time will tell.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fight or...fight

Today I have been thinking a lot about frailty and dominance. For the purpose of literary organization and making me feel less like a mental patient, I’m going to say the two are interconnected. Just looking at your average human being, I can’t help but notice how inherently weak we are. No claws or scales or even protective fur. We are all soft fleshy underbelly and veins too close to the surface. Without our intellect and ability to make and use tools, we’d be long extinct. But if you believe that there is an inherent awareness of this reality, it starts to give reason to a lot of the stranger human behaviors. Looking down at my own pale, ineffectual hands laced with blue veins, I have a desire to prove that my weakness is a deception, a front for the really violent, malicious monster that lies within and is able to both defend and attack any threat. Don’t call me soft and fleshy. So maybe that’s why we have these strong fight or flight instincts; maybe that’s why we climb into our cars and get all road rage-y and yell at the guy who won’t wave our late fees or forgets to add fries to that. We know, deep down inside, we are just a few apocalyptic losses of technology away from being knocked down to the middle of the food chain by a big bear claw. And not the yummy sugar & fat bear claw. Today I had the pleasure of being yelled at in broken English by a guy who was, ironically enough, mad at me for firmly threatening him with consequences for breaking the rules. Repeatedly. Granted, he didn’t put anyone at risk, but he broke the rules, and as the person in charge of enforcing said rules, I came down on him with a very firm, “I almost had to…be more careful next time!” So I got yelled at, by the same guy, for not being nice enough, and because I am in a customer service position, part of my job is to apologize to the angry person in the wrong for hurting their feelings. Which got me asking that one big question, why? Why is it so common to shout and stomp and belittle the person who has no direct effect on anything when we feel threatened? Why is that the first place most of us go? And why does taking that abuse make me feel like I should go snap a pencil in half, or knock down someone’s Lego tower, or crack my knuckles and stomp around in a really serious, self-important way. For the aforementioned reasons, I’m going to say our inherent frailty makes us act out, as a display of false strength. And I’m not totally wrong. That’s why we associate larger tempers with smaller people, it’s not just over compensation, it’s also compensation. Nature knows that, which is why little guys pack a big punch (I’m thinking scorpions, spiders), while the big guys can usually get away with a show of force (I’m looking at you bears and sharks). Which makes me feel 0.1% validated after being yelled at, and before being yelled at again, because the day is young. But, ya know, science is cool.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lies I tell Myself

The more skin care products I buy, the better off I will be. Because it is only logical that each product will serve a separate, specific purpose. And each newly acquired product will, therefore, solve a separate and specific problem.

So the only logical way to be able to solve each and every of an infinite number of potential skin-care woes is to purchase every product that seems like a good idea at the time.


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

happy Birthday to ME

I am an annoying nostalgic person. As I mature I've found it easier to let go of the past and look to the future, but when those big milestones come around I still get caught up in the rearview.

That being said, I wanted to chronicle my favorite birthday memories as I begin my thirtieth year of being Andrea Zaney Walters.

1998 - My sophomore year of high school, Sheila and Parisa got up early to put "Happy Birthday Andrea" posters up around the whole school. At lunch time, we had a mini party in the MPR, with cupcakes, cookies, hats and blowers. Awkward though I was, I still loved all the attention and will always love Sheila for knowing how to give me a great thrill. Plus Sheila made me a mixed tape and then the three of us went to Punk Rock Karaoke and sang White Riot with Mike Ness. It was, in a way, like a bat mitzvah.

2002 - I had just been kicked out of the house by the people I thought were my best friends, and absorbed into what I know fondly refer to as a crack house (only with weed). Floundering personally, academically, and socially, I wasn't even sure anyone would do anything for my birthday. When Jenna wouldn't come pick me up from school, I was heart broken. When I finally got home, I found the whole house decorated for my surprise birthday party. Charlie had brought my favorite pizzas home from work, there was a cake with candles, drinking, debauchery, and fun. When I needed it most, I felt loved, adored, and understood. Plus, it was an awesome party.

2004 - Jealous of other people's pirate costumes on Halloween, I decided to have a pirate-themed birthday party. Jenna collected all of my presents in advance, and planned out an elaborate scavenger hunt around the house, where each clue led me to another clue, a present, and a shot. I got oh so drunk. Added bonus? Christina gave me the once-in-a-lifetime gift of letting me drunkenly cut her hair into a mullet. So. Rad.

Honorable mentions go to the year I threw a lounge party, can Scott, Bob, and grant brought by a leftover super bowl keg and wore bathrobes, and Scott gave me a bag of trinkets he bought from a homeless guy; my Buca di Beppo/Piano Piano party, where I felt like I finally had a crew of friends in Claremont; the party that should have been, when Jenna and Taylor planned a bowling/sangria surprise party for me that failed because I spent the day in the E.R; my super classy birthday with Carlo, where he bought me a dream dress,took me out to Ecco, and we celebrated at home with friends, food, and Wii karaoke.