31 December 2011

my butch feminist transformation is complete

for those of you who are squeamish about feminist issues or body hair on women, don't read. But know that you're being silly and misogynist. XD


EDIT -- just a note to say that I tried the armpit hair thing, dealt with it okay... ultimately didn't like it. off it goes next time I'm in the shower. I honestly never noticed a B.O. difference; it's just itchy.

Those of you who know me fairly well may know that I stopped shaving my legs just before my senior year of high school. I was in my grandparents' house for the summer, shaving in the shower, when I realised that I HATED shaving. I was sitting there with the shaving cream and razor and just going, "I hate this so much." Then WHY was I DOING it?

I hated how much time it took. I hated the inescapable razor burn, due to my extremely sensitive skin. I hated the ingrown hairs. I hated having spiky stubble the very next morning. And I hated being self-conscious if I went without shaving for more than two days and a fine brown pelt could be seen growing there, a testament to my "laziness."

So I stopped. And I haven't shaved my legs since. My parents gave me a lot of flak for it, along with other friends and family trying to talk me out of it. Yes, my legs are just as hairy "as a man's". My dad is half Neanderthal and half gorilla--it's in my genes. That's actually part of what made shaving so terrible. The hair was thick and if I shaved in the morning, I could get a five o'clock shadow of stubble. The hair on my legs is now long, curly, and soft. It's not spiky and itchy and bumpy like it would be if I regularly shaved it.

My parents said I would never have a boyfriend if I didn't shave. I've had two since, one who thought it was awesome that I didn't shave, and one that didn't really care or think about it too much. My parents said I would have a hard time making new friends in college if I didn't conform to certain beauty standards--that I wouldn't make a "good impression" with folks. Well, I met one of my best friends ever at a pre-college summer camp where I was wearing shorts every day (SARAH I LOVE YOU BY THE WAY). I would wear long pants or skirts to church or formal occasions, and one of my cousins requested that I wear long pants when visiting her so I complied. But for the most part my legs were just my legs, and I wore shorts in the heat or to gym (badminton!) class, and that was that.

I have experienced some nastiness from strangers when they see my unshaven legs. Mostly just looks of disgust. But those who are truly my friends don't really care. And those who do care? Aren't my friends. It's that simple.

I do find it interesting, tho', that at times when I would "confess" that I don't shave my legs, people would experience visible relief when I said that I do shave my pits, however. A lot of people frame pit-shaving in terms of sanitation. I tho't the same, to be honest--it was more sanitary, less B.O., etc. But if that were the case, why don't MEN shave their pits? Since they supposedly sweat more, wouldn't it be more necessary for sanitation for men?

I actually haven't seen what my armpit hair looks like, fully grown, since I've shaved them every two days since I was about 11 or so. As an experiment, I'm letting it grow now. So far it feels uncomfortable, a bit itchy, strange because I'm not used to it. I haven't noticed a massive increase in B.O. In fact, the hair can capture my deodorant and hold it close to the skin for longer. I've actually started using a weaker deodorant from LUSH, made from baking soda, herbs, and essential oils--chemical and aluminium salt free--and as long as I apply it daily, I'm fine. The baking soda gets trapped in the hairs and can soak up sweat for longer than if my pit was clean.

I'm waiting until the hairs are at their longest, and I'll give it a week or so to see what I think. So far I'm not the biggest fan of how it feels, and may go back to shaving them. But I want to make a fully informed choice, a personal choice, not a choice foisted upon me by the media and by ad campaigns for ladies' razors.

I mean, I'm cool if people like the feel of smooth legs or whatever. But it's NOT disgusting or unsanitary to let your body remain in its natural state. ESPECIALLY not when there is a male/female double standard, where what is perfectly sanitary for men suddenly becomes the pit of disease and infection for women.

and don't even get me STARTED on women feeling pressure to shave all their pubic hair due to the influence of pornography.

So, yeah, I've done that, and now I've gotten tired of the hair on my head so I have buzzed it short, like Sinead O'Connor or Natalie Portman. If I started wearing my flannel and combat boots again, I would be perceived as quite butch. But, to be honest, I love my body, my female-ness. I just don't conform to a lot of traditional expectations of femininity. I think true femininity is much deeper and more basic than shite like long hair, dresses (altho' I love me some flowing, ankle-length skirts), make-up, jewellery, the colour pink...

And I don't give a flyin' flip what strangers think of me, or how people who don't know me yet perceive me. Besides, my face is actually rather feminine, and one of my favourite things about this haircut is it allows me to showcase all my awesome earrings (I love me some dangly, shiny earrings). So I'm not really worried about being seen as male or whatever. but even if I was, WHO CARES?

Thanks, Daddy, for teaching me not to give a crap what other people think, but only what I think is good, and right. Even when that means I don't care what YOU think, haha. Thank you for being concerned over my health and strength rather than my body conforming to irrational model-standards.

Thanks, Mama, for never making me feel like I had to wear daily make-up to be beautiful, even tho' I know you used to think that about yourself (which was silly of you :P). Thank you for affirming my personal decisions, and always coming to my support and encouragement when I am confused or hurt.

Also, thanks everyone who has complimented me on my new haircut! It just goes to show that some things in society are changing.

I really am feminist at heart. I know there is a backlash against feminists nowadays for some reason, with people railing on and on about "feminazis" and whatever. But feminism is still needed in today's society. Misogyny hasn't disappeared, people, just like racism or classism hasn't disappeared.


if you're shuddering now but make a lot of dick jokes, then shame on you XD


25 December 2011

Christmas dinner

Am I tipsy posting this?! Maybe. Maybe. you'll never know. There is an empty bottle of Captain Morgan's in my house right now, tho'. Just sayin. But there's two of us and we've been working on it all day.

Some Christmas recipes for you. Gluten-free doesn't mean nasty, ok? ok. It means awesome.

My Christmas dinner with Skylar:

- Mashed spuds (white potatoes, extra garlic, rice milk, olive oil)

- Roasted vegetables (carrots and parsnips) with salt, rosemary, and mixed herbs, in the lamb drippings

- leg of lamb from local butcher, roasted in oven with olive oil, salt, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, basil, and oregano (SO GOOD OMG. TENDER AND LOVELY. YOU ARE JEALOUS.)

- flourless peanut butter cookies:

(300-400 g ( ~1 cup) Peanut Butter chunky or creamy
225 g  ( ~ 1 cup) Packed light or dark brown sugar
1 Large Egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla!

Heat oven to 175 deg.C -- 350 F. cook 15 min-ish or until brown and puffy/soft. Let cool 20 min or more. makes delicious chewy cookie

- bottle of captain morgan's rum mixed with club orange and mango juice

- Christmas pudding, from this recipe here:


but with a few edits, so here's what I actually did:


125 gRaisins
125 g          Sultanas
75 gCurrants
50 gMixed Peel
100 gBrown Rice Flour
100 gDark Brown Sugar
2 tspsMixed Spice
50 mlbrandy
100 gmixed nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc)
1 Orange's Juice
50 gmelted Coconut Oil
1 Lemon's Juice
1 T vanilla extract
1 pudding basin


  1. Mix together the raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed peel, mixed nuts, orange & lemon juice, and brandy. Soak overnight.
  2. Add flour, sugar and mixed spice.
  3. Mix in the melted coconut oil.
  4. Stir well.
  5. Grease the sides of a pudding basin (I forgot to do this. But don't!).
  6. Stir the mixture again then press the mixture into the pudding basin.
  7. Spread tin foil over the top of the pudding basin tucking it in well around the outer rim (or just use lid if you have).
  8. Place the pudding basin in saucepan then fill with water until it is half way up basin.
  9. Put the lid on the saucepan and boil for 5 hours.
  10. Carefully remove the pudding and cool without removing the foil/lid.
  11. Store the pudding in fridge until required.
  12. Place the pudding basin in saucepan then fill with water until it is half way up basin.
  13. Steam for a further two hours.
  14. Put a plate on top of the pudding bowl and carefully invert the pudding.
  15. Serve warm. If you like, add a ginger and sugar drink to the final product. Or maybe some rum or brandy?! or vanilla ice cream, if you can do dairy (or a coconut milk equivalent)
** VERY SWEET ** cut sweetness with unsweetened cream if possible

Temperature & cooking time: 
Simmer on hob for 5 hours then for 2 hours right before serving. during first five hours, go get drinks in local Irish pub and get proposed to by a 52 year old man with a moustache. Meet sweet Irish people who call your friend beautiful (because she is). Sing Christmas carols for applause. Get free drinks from kind strangers, including a Galway fisherman.
Dietary status:
Without Gluten , Without Soya, Without Wheat. also, no eggs and a lot of other things. you'll know you own allergies, like. whatevs. Pay attention.

Lovely Christmas! Maybe I will post more on it later!


20 December 2011

road raaaaage ~

Taxi. drivers. are. the. worst.

Today I cycled up to someone's house so that I could buy some legit panniers from her--found 'em on the Irish craigslist (gumtree.ie). The panniers are epic: grey paisley design, little lizard logo decals, tons of pockets, waterproofing, and a plastic "skeleton" so the pockets keep their shape when empty. They were 100 euro in Germany when new, and are still basically new but I got them for 40. A steal, and they're so cuuuuuuuuuute ~ plus the lady I bought them from was really sweet, talked to me for a long time. Apparently the panniers belonged to her sister who moved to America. With these, I'm definitely not going to lose anything off the side of my bike--no sir. I will have to take them off the bike whenever I park and shop or whatever, and they are awkward to carry, but I'll devise a system. For what they are, it's more worth it to me to have the drawbacks and the benefits than no benefits at all. Plus, I'm planning on taking them back to the states with me, whereas if I just got a basket or something it wouldn't be worth returning with.

long tangent aside... I was cycling up Drumcondra Road/Swords Road/the N1, and most of it doesn't have cycle lanes, so I was on the left-hand side of bus lanes. Taxi after taxi would pass me INSIDE the lane--so close it was scary. So I moved to the middle and took the entire lane for myself, since cyclists are allowed to use bus lanes. Taxis would still try to get in-between me and the cars in the next lane if they could. One taxi even honked at me in traffic for having the nerve to be a cyclist on the road--and the funny thing is, he honked at me but I was travelling the SAME SPEED as the car ahead of me, since traffic was thick and slow at that point. I turned around and pointed to the car ahead of me so the guy could see it was RIGHT THERE. Sheesh, people.

I don't mind if they pass me when I'm on the left,  as long as they give me about half the lane to exist in. But some drivers would give me less than a foot of space. That's not safe. I'm happy to get out of their way whenever possible, but if they insist on being assholes I will do what it takes to be safe--which involves taking a lane for myself, in the absence of cycle lanes (or when the cycle lanes are a joke, covered in parked cars or buses that start and stop every ten feet, forcing you to turn left when you wanna go straight or straight when you wanna turn right, randomly appearing and disappearing, covered in broken glass or potholes, etc.).

anyway. I LOVE the panniers. They are my payday treat, along with a pair of synthetic trouser underlayers since I ripped a hole in my other pair when I took a spill the other day. I mean, I can still use the ones with a hole (and probably will), but they're ones my dad gave me so they bag and sag and it's nice to have a pair now that fit against my skin and don't have a penis hole in them.

Yeah, payday... My first paycheck of my SALARY. I am a salaried office worker now. Wtf? Does that mean I'm a grownup? I lost my heels and suitjacket when I lost my purse, but still. I have a work email address. I am an office administrator who fills in spreadsheets and emails people all day. And does endless sums. MATHS ARGH.

Can't wait for the first leisurecycling.ie training meet in the end of January...


18 December 2011

first rothar accident

yay so I had my first bicycle accident today! (worst outcome: skinned knee)

I was cycling up past Finglas toward Belfast (i.e. north) because there's a pretty decent hill thataway and I'm wanting to train myself up for cycling in Wicklow and other hillier areas of Ireland. And the only way to get better at going up hills is to go up hills regularly.

Anyway, I got to a flat place and was just aimlessly cycling in a straight line, since I like to cycle out from my house for about an hour then turn around and come home. (I think I did 20+ km today but I didn't find a proper landmark in order to look it up and know for sure).

Then there were huge rocks on the side of the road that I didn't see. Rothar hit one, and careened into the kerb. I can report that the accident legitimately happened in slow motion. I was just like, "oh shit!" and watched Rothar flip out and the kerb come up to meet me. An impartial observer also affirmed that it happened in slow motion. After I fell, then scraped myself off the road onto the (pedestrian) pavement, a dude came out of his car to see if I was okay and offered me a ride somewhere if I wasn't. But I was okay. All I could see was a hole in my thermal trouser base layer (it is underneath my cycle shorts and a knee-high sock, so it's the only layer over my knee) and a tiny bit of blood. Rothar was fine except one of the brake handles and the gear handles got twisted to a new spot.

The knee is now covered in blood that has soaked into the trousers and the top of my sock. I'll see the extent of the damage when I shower, but it feels like just a surface wound.

I feel nice 'n' sore from the ride. It was a good one. I had, like, three different instances of "cyclist's high" on it. Next week I won't get out much because I have to work evenings in LUSH every day coming up to Christmas.

In other news, I joined the leisurecycling.ie cycling club and ordered their jersey and cycling bib shorts as well. So I can look like a legit cyclist and all. They'll be having training sessions for the Wicklow 200 about once a month or so till June, as well as joining other cycling events, like for charity and stuff, around Ireland. It'll be cool to meet and hang out with Irish cyclists, and have company and sort of guided trips out into Irish countryside.

also I won't be alone for Christmas! a friend and I are planning dinner! I'm so excited! plus Church in the morning, of course, and all my friends there :)

my camera is lost and/or stolen, so no more new pictures, but after Christmas and busyness is gone I can start to post the ones I did get to take before the camera vanished. stay tuned? idk.


p.s. -- for the curious, "rothar" is pronounced kinda like "ruh-hurr"

15 December 2011

I hate myself so effing much right now

Halfway home today, I check on the bag that is on the back of my bike and it is gone.

It is a black mary kay bag made out of cloth. Inside it was a pair of nice shoes from Marks and Spencer, my suitjacket, my grey fleece vest with the broken zip, and the denim purse that my sister hand-made for me out of overalls.

Inside the purse was my American Passport, my sony camera and two memory cards/batteries w/ a swiss army carrying case, three USB keys with varying amounts of data on them (things like backups of my art, backups of my IDs and passport, which is stupid; why did I keep them in the same place?! fuck), a map of Dublin and some other paperwork including a jotter pad with all my to-do lists on it--AND a few passwords and bank details written down (but not enough to be used, I don't think), pens, pencils, erasers, and my wallet.

Inside my wallet was my Texas drivers' license, my GNIB card (which, iirc, costs 250 euro to replace), my two American credit cards, my Irish debit card, my membership cards to various shops, my glasses cleaning cloth, my library card, my proof of insurance card, a few notes and people's business cards. There was no paper cash in it, but probably five to ten euro worth of coins in the zipper pocket.

I don't know if the bag fell off the bike or if it was swiped off the bike when I was stopped at lights. I reported it to the guardai and they gave me a form that said it was a loss. They have my phone number and address, along with a description of the items inside, so if anybody turns it in, the bag will find me again.

I have a feeling that if the bag turns up, then it fell off the bike. If it never turns up, it was probably stolen from the bike.

All this happened because I was too lazy to tie the handles of the bag into a real knot. "oh, it's never fallen off before, and I'm just going home, which isn't far." I'm a fucking idiot and I hate myself for being too lazy to tie a fucking double knot in order to protect all my shit on my way home. The bike has a little spring-clasp thing which is all I used.

I don't care about most of the stuff, but the purse my sister made me? hell yes. My fucking CAMERA? Also I don't have 250 euro to buy another fucking GNIB card without dipping into my savings. I also want the data on those USB keys, and my PASSPORT. On top of all this, I was planning on going grocery shopping today but I have no access to any of my money because my cards are all gone (I'm about to cancel the American ones; I'll cancel the Irish one tomorrow. it requires a PIN to use tho so I'm not too worried about it). Which means the only food I can pick from is lentils, brussels sprouts, white rice, and protein powder.

Thank God my keys and my cell phone were in my pockets. And that my bicycle was under my ass. I am really tempted to hurt myself right now in order to "punish" myself for being so stupid.

Today was a really bad day. I woke up two hours later than normal, which meant I had ten minutes to get ready for work and I was STILL gonna be late. I skipped breakfast, hoofed it, and then got pulled over by a guard for running a red light (it was only for pedestrians and none were coming and I was running late). He took my ID then gave me a stern warning. Work was really nice about it--the working hours are flexible anyway--but all I had to eat was a nut'n'puffed rice bar and a cup of tea. then later I hit myself in the face with the bathroom door and put a permanent scratch on the left lens of my glasses, right in the middle where it can interfere with my vision if I look at it wrong.

I cried so much in public today, and I HATE doing that.

Please pray that my bag really did just fall off, and that whoever saw it fall is a decent human being who will turn it in to the guards. Please, God, let my faith in humanity be affirmed or restored.

What do I do? How long should I wait before I start replacing the things that I lost? And how can I even DO that without access to my money?

12 December 2011

tour of my flat

I know I said I would post this a long time ago, but here it finally is!

first of all, you go thru the wrought-iron gate under the brick arch...

then you go thru the door, which has a doorknob right in the middle like any good hobbit house ^_^
past the cute little garden where you can dry your clothes (when it doesn't rain, which... isn't often). It has a little tool shed and tonnes of ivy and a little box of adorable flowers. The bike shed for rothar is out of the frame on the left --

into the main hallway with its antique furnishings

up the stairs

 and into the flat! Here is my tiny kitchen (sink, fridge up to my waist topped with a microwave, and tiny-tiny oven--seriously, I don't know if a thanksgiving turkey would fit in it--with four little burners on top), and my adorable bed (with Hersha my little stuffed lion keeping it warm for me), and my wardrobe (filled with... very little since I am relentlessly utilitarian when it comes to clothes).

These are pictures I took when I first moved all my stuff in. The only decoration I've added, tho, is an old icon of the Theotokos and holy child above my kitchen table.

The flat's all nice and clean in these pictures, but lately I've become a bit of an... ehm... bachelor. I reallyreally need to vacuum (I'll do it this week! I swear!) and wipe down the hob and the sink. I also have a mound of dishes to wash (altho' I am forced to wash them when I need to use them since I have very little, so it doesn't get *too* bad) and clothes hanging all over the chairs, tables, and doors. The clothes are clean, but there's only a washer and no dryer, so I just drape them over things in my room to dry rather than risk the garden where they'll get rained on more often than not. Then, once they're dry, I can't be bothered to put them all away >_<;

And here is the fistful of keys that I require in order to live in this country:

The grey thing is the computer chip that gets me into the office for work. Then there's a bike lock key, a bathroom key, a key to the garden, a key to the flat, a key to the main door... and most of them are legit skeleton keys, which is awesome. I also have some membership card things to Tesco (English wal*mart, basically, which I avoid when possible; I prefer shopping Irish) and Holland and Barrett, the health food store.

 I'm sorting thru my mounds and mounds of pictures now. More will come.


08 December 2011

rothar related

...couldn't take another day of freezing cold fingertips, so I just bought me summa these -- lobster gloves. I like the look of them; now I can feel like Ludo from the Labyrinth. Didn't get the huge-ass bulky ones because it doesn't really go below 0 degrees C here, not really. I still need some good liners, tho. I admit the sailing gloves were an impulse buy; they were just SO COOL! But they make a better fall/spring cycling glove, or better yet a gardening glove. Or, you know, a sailing glove...

You can't have too many gloves, base layers, or socks, imho.

Some pictures of rothar for y'all's enjoyment.

suicide gears (little levers in the centre)

the man himself! plus the superduper 40 euro lock I got for him.

those are my keys hanging above him in the bike shed door. Skeleton keys for everything except my flat door and the little computer chip beeper thing for NTI.

I promise to go to the library and upload more pictures sometime soon! This is all my internet can handle for now.


01 December 2011

Christmas wishlist and randomness

Jam's Christmas wishlist:

1) Letters and cards from people! Send me a quick email or note on facebook and I will reply with my Irish address. I have a list of people to whom I'm already sending postcards; but, even if you're not on that list, I promise that if you do send me a card or a letter, I will reciprocate with an Irish postcard chosen specifically for you :3. I'm having a terrible time remembering who all I should send a note to, plus I don't have everyone's addresses! So either send me a card w/ a return address on it, or note me your address if you want one!

aaaaand... that's pretty much it. I already have acquired too much "stuff" since coming here and am feeling, after only three months, a terrible urge to whittle my posessions down to the bare essentials again. Except that all I have IS the bare essentials...! There's nothing I can think of in my house that I don't use regularly except perhaps a couple pairs of shoes (which are summer shoes anyhow).

If anyone did want to give me some kind of object for Christmas, here are things that I need and would use. (I am mostly posting this because I know my parents read this blog. Just fyi.)

a) Cute woolen or synthetic socks, both normal pairs and knee-highs (for cycling!). The more colourful and brilliant the design, the better. NO COTTON or hemp, as I'm phasing out those socks at the moment in favour of wool for cold weather and thin synthetics for warm weather. My feet are pretty small...

b) Silk or synthetic glove liners. Thin is best. Water resistant is a bonus. My hands are usually small, extra small, or junior sized (in fact, I bought some sailing gloves for cycling and bought extra-small instead of junior so I could fit liners under them...)

c) Cute handkerchiefs with fun designs or colours on them! To be used for my cold, runny nose, and the other wonderful things handkerchiefs can be used for. They're something I would use constantly, but for some reason refuse to buy for myself.

That's about it, unless something cycling-related came my way somehow. (like a bell or toe clips or something small?)

In other news... Jam! What did you do yesterday?!

I... I cycled to Blanchardstown shopping centre...


went to all the sports stores...


spent 25 euros on a merino underlayer TT_TT

Which means! You spent ALL YOUR TAX BACK ON SPORTS STUFF. (waterproof shell jacket, two underlayers, sailing gloves, bike shorts)

But the merino was HALF PRICE! How often does that happen?

It is good though, because now I have two thermal longsleeve underlayers (one merino, one synthetic) and two all-weather shortsleeve underlayers (one merino, one synthetic). I was actually looking for glove liners, but I haven't found anything I like, and I don't want to buy big bulky snow gloves. I just want something to put under my sailing gloves to make 'em warmer. Everything I'm finding, tho, is either WAY TOO BIG for my tiny child's hands, or not what I'm looking for, or much too expensive. For now I use my wool wristwarmers and let my fingertips just, be cold.

but I know no one wants to hear about my strange shopping addictions! I will leave you with one final thought.

You never feel your mortality more vividly than when passed, on both sides, by double-decker Dublin buses leaving just a tiny little corridor for you to exist in.