Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Morning Thoughts

Have you ever dreamed about flying or meeting a dragon or running to the mall, only to have the plot of the dream take a turn towards finding an open bathroom?  You run around and see toilets everywhere, but they are either currently being used or out in the open or in a tiny cube?  Then you wake up and realize that  you actually need to go pee, and your body's been trying to interrupt your dream?

Yeah, that's the kind of morning I'm having.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


I've had strange dreams this week.
I wake up feeling sticky inside and out.
It's as though everything is offset by just a touch.
I feel guilty and horrible and slightly sick to my stomach.
I find my mind cluttered with moments in time where I screwed up.
Times that I want to do again.
Does life have do-overs?
I need a do-over or two.
I try to forgive myself.
I tell myself, "Kathryn, let it go.  Forgive yourself, because you cannot change it now."
I know that I learned my lesson.
For each time I remember, I know what I would do know.
I know how to avoid the situation or at least to react.
But the guilt remains.
I sometimes feel time slip through my fingers, through my hands.
Like sand or water or opportunities not taken.
My head refuses to stop thinking,
but it also refuses to focus.
Fuzzy dreams, fuzzy thoughts, cloud my head
until I have trouble seeing the world around me.
Reality fades on me sometimes.
I feel like a jack of all trades at life.
I can fake it with the best, but I never really live.
I can't connect to people.
Especially those that I love.
How do I get off this merry-go-round?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Women Get Harassed In Public Restrooms

Earlier this week, I watched a video where Aimee Tom discusses a situation where some strange woman yelled at her for being in the women's restroom.  Why?  No one knows with complete certainty, but it's probably because the woman mistook Aimee for a transgender man.  Aimee brings up a multitude of good points, so I suggest you watch the video and then continue reading.

Now, I admit I'm not a conservative and I truly don't care which bathroom a person uses.  I may not understand what it feels like to be transgender, but I also don't understand what it feels like to be a man.  But I still accept both transgender people and men.

Sadly, as I was looking for the original video to include, I found two other videos of egregious behavior.  In the first one, a man attempts to follow a woman into the ladies' room.  When she confronts him, he leaves but only after he blames her because she was wearing a man's clothes. 

This second video is even worse. Some mall cops bully a girl into leaving the restroom because they will not believe that she's a girl. They never say why, but I'm guessing because she's wearing gender neutral clothes and has a low voice. The idiots even have the gall to ask her if she has ID, as if you need ID to use a restroom!!!!!


Let me explain something.  I understand that a bunch of these conservatives are worried because they think that a man wants to go into the ladies' restroom to watch women pee.  But a transgender woman is not a man dressed in drag - that would be a cross-dresser (or transvestite, for older people).  A transgender woman is a person who is female and who happened to be born with a penis.

When a transgender woman goes to the restroom, do you know what she wants to do?

  • Check and maybe fix her hair.
  • Check her makeup.
  • Apply more lipstick or lip gloss.
  • Gossip with her friends about how the evening is going.
  • Apply perfume.
  • Wash her hands.
  • Change her baby's diaper.
  • Feed her baby (if there's a chair available.)
  • Use the toilet.
In other words, a transgender woman wants to do exactly what other women do.

And for all of you judgmental, fear-mongering jerks?  What does it say about you that you think it's your right to judge how 'feminine' a woman must be to use the ladies' room?  What does it say about you that you assume someone would assault someone in the ladies' room?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

My Reaction to John Oliver's Take on "Studies"

I enjoy watching "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" every week.  I actually subscribe to HBONow, but I don't stay up late enough to watch on Sunday nights.  Instead, my husband and I watch it together every Monday.

This last episode, John Oliver covers the problems present with all of the "scientific studies" referenced by media, specifically how the media misreports science.  I'm including the video of this segment below if you want to watch it, though I caution you that it's not necessarily safe for work.

After watching this, I felt a bit guilty because I don't include links to all the studies I read for various posts, mostly because the studies themselves are quite boring to read.  There's nothing like a bunch of scientific jargon to put a person to sleep.

Note:  If I ever cite a study and you want to read it, let me know.  I will try to include links from now on.

But I think that John Oliver could have explained a few more bits:

  • The 'p' in p-hacking stands for 'probability'.   
  • Scientists who do p-hacking typically work on meta studies.  That's a study where the scientist doesn't do new research, instead he or she looks through other people's work to find commonalities and correlations.
  • Correlation does not mean causation.  Basically, just because a group declares that eating cabbage is statistically correlated to having an innie belly button does not mean that one causes the other one.  Eating cabbage doesn't changing a person's belly button; nor does the type of belly button influence what a person eats.
  • Scientific study that finds no commonality or correlation can be as just important as ones that do.  Or to paraphrase Thomas Edison, you haven't failed.  You just found a way that doesn't work.
  • We need to set up rewards for people who find no correlations as well as for people verifying the results on exploratory studies.  Maybe we need a Nobel prize for fact checking. 
Basically, I agree with this segment.  I wish that morning shows and other media did a bit more homework before presenting scientific studies, because there is enough craziness out there without mass media adding more.