Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beach movies

Last year, I posted a photo of all the movies we watched at the beach. So many people wrote me about it that I decided to do it again this year.

I must note up front that our tastes are varied and that this year we particularly indulged Kyle's and my taste for violent, odd films.

(As always, click on the image to see a larger one.)

On the other hand, we did watch Burlesque (and, no, neither of us chose it).

Watch at your own risk; I make no claims as to the goodness of any of them.

I will tell you that the two Hector Echavarria films are amazingly bad and do not contain anywhere near enough nudity. Despite that, I think Kyle, Scott, and I have seen almost all of his films. Go figger.

Friday, July 22, 2011

As the sun fades on the beach trip

we find ourselves concocting a dinner mostly from leftovers, making time for a last squeeze run, and, at least in my case, wishing I could stay a great deal longer.

As I've said many times, I love this place, a beach time has largely bypassed, a beautiful little town most people don't even know exists. A whole summer of vacationing here would not be enough for me.

Gina snapped many grand photos of the lovely sunsets. Two seem a nice way to close the blog entry of the last day in which I'll sleep in the house.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bobcake vs. the house

The Bobcake from last week fought bravely for its survival, but the eaters here in the house were relentless, and now it is gone. Thanks to Kyle, we have an almost daily record of its struggle.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

As you can see, it began life as a roughly two-thousand-pound chunk of chocolate goodness.

The first dinner, though, cut it down to merely the size of the largest cake you could find in a typical store.

From there, we did a little rounding but no serious damage.

Then it was on.

Finally, we reduced it to a shadow of its former self.

Almost there.

One last pillar.

And then there was none.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The twin pillars of America

Standing side-by-side right here, in a cheesy beach shop.

It makes me kinda teary.

In pizza news, last week we all agreed that the two best pizzas were the feta and the double bacon. So when it came time for pizza this week (this beach doesn't offer a very wide range of culinary options, which is just fine with me; I love the simplicity of this place), we focused on those two pizzas plus one new one: double feta and double bacon.

Wow. Some feared it would be too much, but it was not. It was a glorious taste combination that I recommend heartily.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Waitin' at the Walmart

On Sunday, one of our party had to accept that the ear pain was indeed a symptom of an ear infection. Off the two of us went to the nearest urgent care clinic, a place a solid half hour or more away.

A few hours later, maybe an hour longer than the advertised two-hour wait, we migrated to the nearest pharmacy, the one at the local Walmart, to fill a prescription for ear drops.

Another hour later, and we were out of there.

Today, after two days of fever and chills and no real progress, back to the clinic we went. The wait time was supposed to be an hour, and we actually finished in less. The properly embarrassed doctor prescribed ingestible antibiotics and some pain pills, and then we headed to the Walmart.

The pharmacy there claimed a max of an hour wait time.

We were there nearly two hours, during the bulk of which the other person stretched out in the van and I waited on the pharmacy's bench.

I've learned several lessons from my extensive Walmart stay:

People of Walmart doesn't have to set up photo ops. They happen all the time. In our first visit, we saw one of the creepiest men I've ever seen in person, a guy who (to borrow a line) made Men In Black look like a documentary. Today, I watched a woman pull her enormous and slinky left breast through the armpit hole in her tank top so she could scratch the nipple, all while browsing antibiotic creams.

I'll be squeegeeing my third eye clean for a while after that one.

Never trust a time estimate you get in a Walmart. Whether it's a pharmacy clerk or a check-out person, you simply cannot put any faith in any time estimate they give. I suppose that's fair, given what Walmart pays its workers, but, damn, it sure is frustrating.

People buy a lot in Walmart. I asked a greeter, a woman who didn't look a day over 105, if they had any small baskets for shoppers, because I was picking up only a few things. Her response: "Nope. People here need carts for all they buy." Indeed they do.

You can't fairly stereotype the Walmart clientele. It would be easy to say that in this small southern beach town all the shoppers were rednecks, but it would also be wrong. I saw people of every size, shape, race, and dress style. Everyone seems to end up there eventually.

I don't want to shop at Walmart again anytime soon. Aside from employing business practices I strongly dislike, Walmart also simply proved again today that it's not the place for me.

Now, back to that squeegeeing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The beach's latest surprise

Our group spotted it at a chain drug store. Though I did not get to see it in person, I still had to share the picture with you.

Sorry about the slightly murky image; clicking on it to enlarge it might help a bit.

I like to think about the marketing team meeting that led to this product's name. What marketing big brain first suggested the name "Butt Paste"? What crack squad (pun intended) agreed it was just the ticket for their new product?

Further, what prompted them to put "Original" above the name? Have others put out imitation Boudreaux butt paste? Is that copycat butt paste somehow inferior?

Finally, why would they ever admit on the label that this product is simply the same zinc oxide you can buy under many other names in the same stores? Wouldn't they at least want to preserve the mystery of butt paste at least until the fine print of the ingredients section?


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ask Dr. Efficient, the Love Guru:
Dr. Efficient Answers All, #5

Warning: The following is an adult entry. If you are underage or simply do not want to read about sex-related topics, stop now.

All opinions are those of Dr. Efficient.

Dr. Efficient's fifth guest column comes to us from a land of gentle waves and scorched sand.

As usual, both questions he answers originated with U.S. women who chose to remain anonymous.

Why do you think that women are inherently bisexual? Are men inherently bisexual?

Don't be ridiculous. Men are either straight, gay, or lying.

To be fair, women aren't strictly bisexual either. It would be more accurate to describe them as omnisexual, since they're also turned on by watching apes have hot monkey sex. Now that is some sick shit, and something to think about the next time you're getting up on your "Ew, fucking sheep is gross" high horse.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. All of these results come from experiments in which sex researchers attach monitoring devices to record blood flow to the genitals while subjects are shown a variety of visual stimuli.

In 2005, a team of Northwestern University researchers lead by Dr. J Michael Bailey recruited 101 young male research subjects. Thirty of the men self-identified as straight, thirty-three as bisexual, and thirty-eight as gay. All were shown sexual videos, some featuring only men, others only women. Self-professed straight and gay men behaved as expected: straight men were aroused by looking at women, while gay men were aroused by looking at men.

Self-identified bisexual men, on the other hand, were not aroused by both men and women. They were aroused by only one sex or the other, and usually they were aroused by men. In the laboratory, most bisexual men are indistinguishable from gay men.

Women, on the other hand, are different. Whether they self-identify as straight, gay, or bisexual, women show similar indiscriminate patterns of physiological arousal: They go moist looking at either men and women. They go moist looking at either straight sex or gay sex. Dr. Bailey says, "I'm not even sure females have a sexual orientation. But they have sexual preferences. Women are very picky, and most choose to have sex with men."

Enter Queens University researcher Dr. Meredith "The Queen of Bonobo Porn" Chivers. Chivers showed a wider variety of images to her female subjects. She found that women were physiologically aroused not just by watching videos of humans having sex, but also great apes. This would suggest that all women are, to some extent, inherently into yiffing. On the other hand, when surveyed, women reported subjective levels of arousal that bore no relation to their physiological responses. Straight women claimed they were aroused by images of men, gay women claimed they were aroused by images of women, and nobody admitted to being turned on by hardcore apefucking.

So does this mean that all women are bisexual? Or that all women are into bestiality? Chivers herself says that "To conclude that women are bisexual on the basis of their sexual responding overlooks the complexity and multidimensionality of female sexuality.” Or to put it another way, as David M. Buss writes in The Evolution of Desire, "women's preferences in a partner are more complex and enigmatic than the mate preferences of either sex of any other species."

To sum up: Men are simple. Women are complicated. Male sexual wiring appears to be a matter of hardware, while female sexual preferences are a matter of software. And it's hard to be certain of anything about women, except that any of them would go gay with enough alcohol and the right partner.

At least that's my hypothesis; I'm still looking for grant money to test it.

Further reading:
"Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited"
"Pas de deux of sexuality is written in the genes"
"What Women Want (Maybe)"
"What do women want?"
all from The New York Times.
I know they say men think about sex all the time, but what about women? I am female and literally think about sex so much it is a constant "background noise" in my head. Is that normal?
Normal? Maybe. Hot? Totally.

But seriously, who gives a shit? Will you be happier if I tell you that you're in the middle of the human bell curve than out there on the extreme?

You know that profound sense of alienation that you feel from time to time? You come by it honestly. You are as much a stranger to this world as if you were a visitor from Mars. You were not born for this. You were born to walk across the pre-Saharan veldt with a spear in hand (if you're male) or an infant (if you're female). You were born to feel the dry grass beneath your feet, and to know the hot sun on your back.You were born to hunt and to forage. You were born to watch a third of your children die in infancy. You were born to leave another third of your children to die of exposure in times of scarcity--or to smother them to death if you are merciful. You were born to be a nomad, constantly moving to follow the herds. You were born to never be alone, to live your life in the bosom of thirty to fifty close relations who've known you your entire life and who impart to you the wisdom that you will pass on to your surviving children.

That is the world we were shaped for by a million years of evolution. But we've made a different world. Instead of scarcity, we have abundance. Instead of the comfort of the band, we have the loneliness of the crowd. Instead of timeless rhythm, we have constant flux. Instead of wisdom, we have statistics.

The statistics are these: 54% of men report thinking about sex every day. 19% of women report thinking about sex every day. Presumably those percentages are higher for men and women in their twenties and are lower for children and the elderly, as with other reported sexual activity. These, and a variety of other fascinating stats are available at the Kinsey Institute FAQ.

The Kinsey statistics don't report how many times a man or woman thinks about sex in a day, but with 81% of women thinking about sex less than once a day, presumably it's pretty low. On the other hand, ABC News did an admittedly anecdotal study (one man, one woman) in which the man reported thinking about sex thirty times in a day, the woman twice. There are going to be problems with any self-reported statistics: people are unlikely to remember everything they think about in the course of a day, different people will have different thresholds for what they consider to be worth reporting, and cultural inhibitions will keep some--especially women--from reporting sexual thoughts.

So you're probably out there toward the end of the bell curve, but it's only something to worry about if that bothers you. The American Psychiatric Association doesn't consider "thinking about sex a lot" to be a disorder. If it's a major inconvenience for you, antidepressants and therapy might help. Your level of sexual interest will probably lessen as you get older in any case.

And in the meantime, you can make a lot of men pretty happy. Or one man very happy.

As long as you keep sending in questions, Dr. Efficient will return soon! Email your queries to me or send them via the Contact page on my site.


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