Obama won, so I don't have to spend the next four years hiding under a rock, making plans to follow the Underground Railroad up to Canada. David forgot about my general news embargo and told me as soon as the returns were in -- a nice change, as the last bastard who informed me about goings-on against my will was the pilot on the airplane I was in at the time, right over the Rockies, who told me that we had officially gone to war with Iraq. Again. I assume I'd have known if Romney won whether I wanted to or not, as the entire state would have risen up around me and wailed, giving me a warning not unlike the one Obi-Wan got on the way to Alderaan.

It's surprisingly nice to vote in a place where I can look at the paper they give me and just go YES GODDAMNIT DO EVERYTHING ON THIS BALLOT. (Everything apparently passed except the physician-enabled euthanasia measure. Which is a shame, I think, but hey, Mass has medical marijuana now! Which means the local cops are free to care even less than they already do, as long as you are courteous enough to smoke up someplace where you won't annoy others, like whatever room of your house has the Wii in it.) I voted a straight Democratic ticket, if anyone's interested; all the offices I cared about, I wanted Democrats in, and I really couldn't give a shit less about whoever it was whose career ambition was to be Town Registrar.

I note with great pleasure that Wisconsin has elected the first openly-gay Senator -- and a woman, at that. She is not the first openly-gay person to ever have been sent to Washington, though; I don't know who was, but currently the House has Barney Frank (D-Mass., which surprises absolutely no one), at least until he retires in 2013. I wasn't really sapient when he had his official coming-out party, but it's been a damn long time since then, and the only way Frank could possibly be more openly gay would involve having sex with other men right on the stage during his next press conference. He is also blessed with that utterly charming complete lack of tact that is apparently characteristic of native New Englanders. Several years ago, some lady asked him a vitriolically loaded question that involved comparing Obama to a Nazi, and his response was to ask her what planet she lived on.

All four states where same-sex marriage was on the ballot apparently passed it -- or, rather, Maine, Maryland and Washington passed the measure, and Minnesota failed to pass the measure to amend their constitution to prohibit it. Dan Savage is probably still ecstatically drunk and maybe planning a wedding, assuming he's gotten over his flu. He was so badly off when taping Tuesday's podcast the doctor apparently just sent him home with a bottle of Vicodin and told him to remain comatose as much as possible. He's a cranky bastard when he's high, but this should cheer him up.

The weather service says we're in for another nor'easter. No unfrozen water or gusts of 80+ mph this time. This I can deal with. Flagstaff is on the downslope of a 7500ft mountain range; people who needled me about finally experiencing a "real winter" when I moved to Boston got told stories about being snowed into wherever I was living at least once a year. I opened the door to Casa del Dorko a few Januaries ago, intending to go to the grocery store, and closed it right the fuck up again when I saw that our little entryway alcove was fronted by meter-tall snowdrifts that the groundskeeper had not gotten around to shoveling yet. One of the courtyard lights was glowing softly through a solid bank of snow. says that the snowfall is supposed to skip Boston, and they're lying, because it's snowing outside my window in Medford as I type.

Fortunately for my sanity, I went out to run all my errands yesterday. I dressed for it -- not dressed like found some pants and shoes and a scarf that only had a little rat fur on it, but Dressed like I was running around in pumps and a very clingy knit sweater dress and makeup and all. Not for the voting part -- Mass is big on Being Tolerant and Doing Your Civic Duty, and the poll workers had probably been there since 5:30am. I could have gone in there looking like Yog-Shoggoth, and as long as I found the little old lady whose list covered addresses in "the mind-destroying reaches beyond space and time" they would have given me a ballot.

No, I dressed because I was going out to buy a reasonably major piece of electronics. I do it on purpose. It's absolutely sexist and probably very unfair, and I don't care, because when I dress like that, it makes shopping trips about a million times easier. People pay enough attention to not run me over in mall parking lots, and the inquiries as to whether I have been assisted yet start almost immediately when I walk through the shop doors. Counter-intuitively, it actually works better here in Boston, where when I use technical computer words people assume it's because I do technical computer things, and not because I'm repeating what my boyfriend or father has told me to say. I walked into the store, and I walked out with the computer and business cards from two very solicitous salesmen in about fifteen minutes, five of which I spent waiting for the pimply-faced youth on duty to dig my computer out of the back stockroom.

I bought an ASUS this time. I don't know anything about ASUS, which is a good sign -- I used to work tech support at my alma mater, and if I don't know anything about them, it means that people weren't constantly bringing them in for me to fix. It turns out that when I'm staring at four near-identical models at near-identical prices, the magic words that make me decide are "320GB hard drive". I spent several hours discovering what all this thing has for readers and ports last night; I didn't even glance at anything but the CPU, the RAM, the HDD, and the optical drive, because as long as it has the standard I/O and it works, it literally does not matter to me what kind of gewgaws it has for decoration. And it turns out that I needn't have worried, since apparently all of the low end laptop mobos use the same companies for the things that would really drive me bonkers to have to re-learn and then fuss with all the time -- Intel onboard graphics, Realtek sound and network drivers, and Synaptics touchpads.

(The computer also feels suspiciously light and like it's been injection-molded out of polycarbonate plastic. Good. Everything I ever bought from Memorex felt exactly like that, and was completely unkillable. I had a bog-standard Memorex portable CD player once that was so stupid it didn't know what skip protection or MP3s were, and I owned it for eight years before I gave it away to someone else, mostly so I wouldn't feel guilty when I upgraded.)

Behold, my new baby:

Obviously, her name is Natasha.


  1. That "go forth sexily into the electronics store" advice is absolutely hilarious. I'd never thought about using sexist tropes like that, but it makes total sense.

    Congrats on the acquisition of Natasha! My last three computers were all ASUS, and they're pretty damn rugged. They're like betta fish -- you can drop them down a spiral staircase and they'll be fine. (Our poor fish.)

    1. The dressing-up trick works best when going to buy electronics, where most of the staff are still educated males in the 18-45 age range. Salesmen materialize out of absolutely nowhere to ask if I need any help, often when another salesman is already obviously talking to me, demonstrating something, handing me a price quote, etc.

      The trick also works fairly well when going to buy something girly and notoriously expensive, like nice makeup or lingerie, where most of the salespeople are female and take it to mean that you actually care about this on a regular basis, and are likely to know something about it. It doesn't seem to make any difference when I'm just knocking around trying to buy work pants at Macy's or bath towels at Target, although it does make it much easier to get across a parking lot without getting run over. Even Boston drivers can be shockingly courteous when I'm wearing a skirt and heels.

  2. My last two netbooks have been Asus, and they've endure being lugged around in my bag, dropped, bounced off a bad, and more. (I should note, both work, I got the second because I prefer Windows.) On top of that, my video card from the PC built in 2003 is Asus and it still works. They build good stuff.


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