This is rape culture

I wrote this a few weeks ago, after the Steubenville verdict and ensuing reaction from the press. I wrote it and I was afraid to post it here, choosing instead to hide it in some more secret, anonymous spaces. Well, today, I say “eff that.”

Because then I read this story (and others, but it was mostly this one). Every time this happens, which is far too often, I am heartbroken. Again.

I’m starting out leaving comments on but moderated, but I’ll close them if I feel I have to.

Soapbox on.

TW: discussion of rape and rape culture. not graphic

You’re fourteen, and you go with a friend to a party at some older kids’ house. One of the boys asks you if you want something to drink, and you refuse a couple of times before saying, “Okay, I’ll have a Coke.” They bring you the coke and it kind of tastes funny, so you take a couple of sips and leave it somewhere before slipping away.

You’re sixteen, and you’re with your boyfriend at a graduation party, and some of the guys are sneaking extra booze into that girl’s drink when she’s not looking, and they’re laughing and making jokes. You don’t think anything happened to her, but you’re terrified about what could have happened.

You’re eighteen, and you’re trying to break up with that same boyfriend. He threatens to rape you, because if you’re going to leave, you’re going to leave really hating him. You’ve never been so scared…but then he stops and begs you to forgive him. (And you do, sort of, because you’re not quite ready to get out of this mess yet.)

You’re twenty-five, and you’re on a beach vacation with your girlfriends. You and one of the other girls are dancing and having a good time, so you stay out while everyone else goes back to the house. The guys you’re hanging out with invite you to come back to where they’re staying, a few miles down the road. Your friend drives, and you follow them. The guy you’re hanging out with turns out to be very sweet, a total gentleman, and one of the last things you say to him is, “Thank you for being a good guy,” because you can’t stop thinking about how differently this night might have turned out.

You’re twenty-nine, and you’re going to meet a guy you’ve been chatting with on an online dating site. You tell your roommate where you’re going, like you always do, “just in case.” You make jokes about it, but deep down, you know you’re not really kidding.

A comedian makes a joke about a member of his audience getting gang-raped, and the Internet jumps to defend him.

A story breaks about the gang rape of an eleven-year-old girl in Texas, and the media writes about what she was wearing.

A story breaks about a gruesome gang rape in India, and the Internet won’t shut up about how we must do something about those horrible woman-hating rapists over there. People warn their female friends who are visiting India to be careful.

A story breaks about the rape of a teenage girl in Ohio, and even as evidence mounts against the rapists, people blame the victim. The rapists are found guilty, and the media wrings its hands about how those poor boys’ lives are ruined. They don’t say very much about the victim, except to point out, at every opportunity, that she was drunk.

Don’t wear a skirt that’s too short. Don’t get too drunk. Don’t let your drink out of your sight. Don’t walk alone at night. Don’t be a slut. (And don’t forget, you don’t get to determine what it means to be a slut. Everyone else does.) Don’t be out there looking to have sex, because everyone knows if you want to have sex with someone, that’s just as good as wanting to have sex with anyone.

Don’t get raped.

Because if you get raped, it was obviously your fault.

Because if we can believe that, we can believe that it won’t happen to us.

Because if we can believe that, we don’t have to do anything about this problem. We don’t have to try to do better.

Because we don’t have a problem, do we?

Some other good reading on this and related topics:

No, dude, it’s not bigotry

F*ck everything, let’s talk about rape

Laurie Halse Anderson (author of Speak) weighs in

UPDATE: this link is on the Laurie Halse Anderson post, but I wanted to add it here, too.

Donate to RAINN

Ookla the Mok vs. Evil

So, as many of you probably know, I’m married to half of the nerd-rock band Ookla the Mok. And as you may have heard by now, Ookla has a brand new CD out! It’s called vs. Evil, and it’s chock full of songs about supervillains and mad scientists. The totally fantabulous cover art is by Art Baltazar, creator of (among other things) Tiny Titans.


Click here for complete lyrics/liner notes.

The entire album is super fun–the lyrics are funny, and the tunes cover a wide range of musical styles, including hip hop, power pop, and 80s hair metal. I’d listen to Ookla even if I wasn’t married to one of them. 😉

If you’re interested, but not sure if you want to buy, you can listen first on facebook or on soundcloud. Here’s a little taste for you:

[I can’t make the soundcloud widget work, so just click here.]

More Ookla: 

Ookla’s official website

Ookla on Facebook


Debbie Ohi

Word of the Nerd


CD Baby :: Amazon :: iTunes

I found this post in my drafts

…I don’t know why I never posted it. It is from 2010. Ahem.

It’s September.

For me, and for lots of other people, September means back-to-school. It’s easy to approach the Labor Day weekend with regret, thinking about things you planned to do and didn’t…so I’ve decided instead to take a look back at my summer and celebrate what I did accomplish.

(For my purposes, “accomplishments” shall be defined very loosely.)


I’ve done quite a bit of reading this summer…much of it just for fun, but some for professional development as well. You can check my Read in 2010 shelf at goodreads if you want to see specifics. Some of my favorite reads have included the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley and Feed by Mira Grant. Feed is definitely deserving of a post all to itself, and I will get to it soon!


Rand and I took a week in July and drove to central Tennessee, where it was really, really hot. We visited lots and lots of used bookstores. I bought stuff for my classroom as well as many things just for my reading pleasure. (side note–oh, Half Price Books, why do you not exist in New York???)


(some of the stuff I bought)

We didn’t enjoy the outdoors much (did I mention it was really, really hot?), but we did enjoy sleeping in, reading, watching DVDs, and cooking out.

(the view from the back of our cottage)

We celebrated our anniversary (two years!) at the Brass Lantern restaurant in Crossville, TN.


And we visited with my dear friend Stephanie and her family. We had great food, great conversation, and an overall lovely time. No pics, sorry!

I think I had meant to write more. Who knows what I intended to say…

Home to FilKONtario


So as you may recall, I posted a while back about Rand and I being invited to be the Filk Waifs (aka toastmasters) at FilKONtario this year. Well, the big event is coming up–very soon! (April 19-21)

I kind of think of FKO as a home convention…because it’s so close, we’re pretty much there every year. I haven’t missed one since Rand first brought me in 2005.


If you come, you might get to see me play the ukulele. Here I am playing a chord!

Other exciting things you will see/hear at FKO this year include:

Tim and Annie Walker, all the way from England! They are fantastic people as well as fantastic musicians, and I’m so looking forward to spending more time with them.

Urban Tapestry in concert! (That’s them on stage in the first photo I posted.) Debbie, Allison, and Jodi are among my favorite people in the entire world, and they are always wonderful in concert.

In addition to our concert and other filk waifing duties, I’ll be offering a calligraphy and papercrafting workshop, and Rand will be hosting a found filk circle. (Visit the FKO website by clicking the photo at the top of this post for more info. And if you’re reading this and wondering “what the heck is filk? check out Debbie Ohi’s Filk FAQ. Also, at the end of this post, I included a description I wrote during a particularly awesome filk circle at GAFilk in 2006).

I’m so looking forward to seeing everyone there! :)



(Rand and I performing “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” in a filk circle at FKO in 2009. Photo by Brooke Lunderville)

Inside the burst bubble

In November 2011, after the whole Penn State scandal blew up, I wrote a little essay on my blog titled “We are…heartbroken.” Shortly after that, I was contacted by a professor at PSU who was interested in putting together a book and wanted to know if my essay could be included. I said yes, and waited.

There were some ups and downs in the process, but the final decision was to fund the project using indiegogo, with all proceeds beyond the cost of the book itself to be donated to RAINN. Here’s the link to the project page, where you can read more of the details:

Notes from Inside a Burst Bubble: Penn Staters on the Penn State Scandal

I am proud to be a part of this project. If you are so inclined, please help me spread the word.


So, these two items were purchased (in part) with Christmas money/gift cards:



iPad Mini (purple case from Amazon, but I’ve also ordered this one in blue.) I love it…it’s the perfect size. And as an added bonus, I’ll stop trying to win one now.



bodhran (which I now need to, um, learn how to play…)

How was your Christmas? :)


Gonna have a good time

Because I know A LOT of people celebrating a birthday today, many of them related to me, I started today off by sharing this video on Facebook:

Got myself a birthday pedicure (no, I’m not posting new pics), and indulged in some fresh-cut fries at Five Guys.

Later, after Rand gets home, we’ll be going out for Korean bbq (YUM).

I think I’m going to spend a bit of quality time with my birthday present (which yes, I did get early) before then:
my ukulele

(That’s the pic I took in the store, which is better than the one I took at home. Isn’t it pretty?) I’m still mainly practicing the same 3 chords, and trying to work a couple of new ones in. I’m currently not very good at moving my fingers smoothly to or from G. I’m trying to make sure I pick it up and play with it for at least 10-15 minutes every day (more if I feel like it/if my fingers don’t hurt too much). Wish me luck!


Meet Seanan

I know many of you don’t need to be introduced to my dear friend Seanan McGuire, but for those of you who do…I’d like to spend some time telling you how awesome she is.

Seanan threatens to eat me

(Seanan will occasionally try to eat your face. Do not be alarmed.)

Continue reading

Things I need to do today


1. Fill out/finish applications for substitute teaching.


(at least for now)

2. Do a piece of calligraphy.

3. Do something with the basil and mint I harvested yesterday.

Nope. Oops.

4. Go to the post office.

5. Laundry.

6. DIY pedicure.

I’ll be back later with an update!


Recipe: breakfast “cookies”


I came across this recipe (most likely on Pinterest), and I decided to give it some tweaks…it has quickly become one of my favorite things.

The original recipe has no sugar, as it uses mashed bananas. I eat bananas, but I don’t really enjoy banana bread, so I decided to replace them. As such, I did add a bit of sugar. I’m sure you could use your sweetener of choice (or none, if you prefer).

1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar (I like dark brown)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
a healthy amount of ginger, cloves, and nutmeg (to taste)
1/4 cup of ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mixed nuts, finely chopped (I used sunflower seeds and pecans)
1 cup dried fruit (I used 1/2 chopped apple bits, and 1/2 craisins)

*the original recipe called for a cup of coconut flakes. I don’t care for coconut, so I just left it out and tossed in a little extra of each ingredient. I also added a few scoops of protein powder.

2 eggs
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
around 6 tablespoons nut butter (I used natural almond and peanut. also, this measurement is not very precise.)
1/4 cup coconut oil (original recipe uses canola. there are lots of possibilities here)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients together. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour over dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

To bake these, I lined a regular-size muffin tin with cupcake liners and scooped in the batter evenly. Since these are thicker than the “cookies” in the original recipe, I bake for about 25 minutes. Of course, that may vary depending on your oven.

I used this chart to determine what to replace the bananas with. (I put the eggs in since I am not a vegan, and I have trouble getting enough protein.)