Boring Summer/Ask Natalie08/20/08

I got one of those Twitter things, you can see over yonder (to the left over there.) I was wanting to set one up a few months ago, but I knew that we were going to be redoing the blog-writing program thing we use, so I waited until last week or whenever it was.

One thing I have found since firing it up is that reading people's Twitters is freaking BORING! No offense to you twittin' folk, but there is only so much intrigue you can pack into 140 characters. They are all like "@gobblefishgirl1986: LOL how was your trip to your mom's house?"

I can't say that I didn't kinda know that they were boring. They have a Twitter feed on the front page of the local news website that I look at all the time, and those cats always just post what they had for lunch. In fact, I have been collecting all their lunch posts, just cause I think it is funny to post such things on the front page of a news site. BREAKING NEWS, I AM HAVING LEFTOVER FALAFELS AND A DR PEPPER.

Here are some gems from my collection:

If you work in the local newsroom, please don't think I am making fun of you. My collection is good, clean fun, like stamp-collecting. The food twitters are just like little stamps that I can screenshot, and put in my folder. Whenever there is a new food Twitter on the news site, I get all pumped and screenshot it real fast, and whenever I check the news, I go backwards through the Twitter to make sure I didn't miss anything.


I may have mentioned it before, but I kinda put myself on a news diet... I find that, if I spend a lot of time reading all the news, I get a little depressed and anxious and what-have-you. The thing is, I've noticed that when I DON'T stay obsessively up-to-date on world happenings, nothing bad happens to me. It is almost like not knowing every detail about Israel and Palestine and Africa and the Republicans and Bird Flu and whatever the hell else, doesn't matter much. I can know about all of it, and people still fight and kill each other and cause problems, and NOBODY TRIES TO KILL ME OVER IT.

I'm not saying that ignorance is bliss, but a little bit of ignorance is kinda like a Xanax. Not something you wanna get into the habit of, but really helpful when you need it. And that shit will mellow you the hell out. If there is some world situation that develops into some ongoing thing, I will familiarize myself, but if it is just some news story about something that MIGHT happen, or a teeny detail in something that has been going on forever, I just don't see the need to fret too much about it.*

*This has probably saved me thousands in psychiatrist bills and anti-anxiety meds, FYI.

My news diet has resulted in a deep interest in the aforementioned local news. Local news sometimes affects me, and the stories on local news never really have that "We're All Gonna Die!" vibe to them. It is almost like they cater to a captive audience, and don't really profit that much off terrorizing people into partaking of their media.

I check the local news website like 10 times a day, in case something happens. Whenever anything happens, it is like SOME GUY GOT HIT BY A CAR! or KIDS DON'T LIKE SCHOOL LUNCH! or YOU GUYS NEED TO BOIL YOUR DRINKING WATER UNTIL TOMORROW, CAUSE SOME CONSTRUCTION WORKER FUCKED SOME PIPES UP! I feel in touch with my fellow Columbusians (Columbusites? Columbusers? Columbusettes?), and informed enough.

I only really check one news channel website. I don't even remember how I picked it out. I think I had been visiting the site for a while when I realized that the other 2 local channels had sites, too, but by that point I was too embroiled in my current local news website. Lately, I've even taken to watching the news on TV.

I refer to it as "NBC4i-dot-com, the website that is also a TV show."

I also like looking at the weather dot com website, but lately that has been a little boring. From mother's day until June or mid-July, we had all kinds of fucked up storms and shit, and it was pretty rad to get on the weather dot com site and watch the finger of God coming straight for my house on the radar.

Recently, though, our weather has been California-esque, with nothing but temperatures in the mid-70s and low 80s, with no rain or clouds or nothing. Fucking boring as hell. Then, once in awhile, the radar will show a bunch of clouds and rain coming in, and they will just disintegrate as soon as they get to central Ohio. It's some real bullshit. And to think I was almost going to whine at my husband to buy me a gold membership to the weather dot com... YOU LOST A SALE, WEATHER CHANNEL SITE! YOUR WEATHER IS BORING, I AM GONNA SPEND MY HUSBAND'S 30 DOLLARS ON SOMETHING ELSE!!!


Did you see on Drew's blog how we moved AGAIN? Maybe I will get into that saga behind the move at a later date, but we did move. We just got done moving in December, and now we are living somewhere different. I feel like a hobo, but not really, since I just moved from house to house in the most Leave it to Beaver neighborhood in town, but still. THAT IS HOW I FEEL, AND FEELINGS ARE IMPORTANT, GUYS.

Anyway, I have been so swamped with moving, and then going on a mini-trip up north to visit some family, that I missed the goddamned-ass motherfucking State Fair. I haven't missed the State Fair in forever, and it pissed me off pretty good. I was all amped to go, and I got back to town, checked the dates, and the fucker had shut down the day before. I didn't get my yearly corndog or anything. Fuck.

Aside from that, I have been baking a lot lately. I have been trying to make good bread, which has been going well, and I hope to parlay that into making good pizza dough. I also made a bunch of rugelach to give to our new neighbors, so they didn't think I am some kind of weird shut-in or something. Like I was saying, my neighborhood is pretty white-bread, middle-America, so if I don't go out of my way to prove I am not socially deviant, people just think I am weird, and their perception of my weirdness just grows and grows until they run inside if they see me standing in the yard. I give 'em cookies, though, and they will wave at me when I get my mail, or when they see me driving to the grocery store.

Shit, this is a really long-ass, yet boring blog post. Sorry about that, guys. But you can see, I have been super-busy with really boring stuff, and my English teachers always said to write about what you know, so there you go. Hopefully something amazing and hilarious and excellent will happen soon. I will keep you updated on it.



Q: I am a gay dude with a male foot fetish. It's weird to even say it, considering the way most people view things like that. I know it's not the worst thing, and that it's the most common male fetish (besides breasts), but still, it's not the sort of thing most people want to bring up in daily conversation.

Getting to the point, my question is this: I like giving massages, and most people like receiving massages. I have always had a knack for pampering others. While I massage everyone who wants one and does not have a skin-transmissible disease, I especially like giving foot massages, and especially to guys, for obvious reasons. However, I always feel creepy and/or gross afterward, like I copped a feel. I don't immediately go and pinch a quick one off after or anything, but I won't lie, I have gotten some joy from it.

Is giving a foot massage to a guy when I have an undisclosed male foot fetish comparable to molestation, or worse, rape?

A: Hmmmmm.... I don't think so.

You are not FORCING anyone to let you give them a foot massage, and they are getting pleasure from receiving said massage. You're not being lecherous, all frotting up against their ankles while giving them the massage, and you said yourself that you're not even rubbing one out afterwards. Shit, you have more self-control than most dudes, who will go rub one out if they are hanging out with someone in an especially nice pair of jeans.

I think it's all good. You like giving massages to people who want you to give them a massage. You are being respectful, even if you would engage in a little foot-disrespect in a different type of situation. I mean, I have a thing for dudes in cop uniforms, but I don't feel guilty if I do a little nod-and-hello at the policeman who hangs out in the grocery store lobby, you feel me?

Q: My mother is a strong Catholic. For the past 8 years, I have rejected the religion - privately. I never told my mother, and I continued going to church and "playing along" to keep stress out of our relationship. Now that I am in college, she knows I don't go to church while away at school, and that I have certain bones to pick with the religion. I don't mean to keep it from her forever, but is it terrible of me to play along while my parents are paying for school? Do I owe it to her to come clean and tell her how I really feel? Essentially, am I lying to her, and should I feel bad about it?

A: Here's my feelings on religion-- there is no reason at all to start beef with people about it, because it is just about as personal as possible.

Your mom was raised Catholic, and continued to practice for her whole life. There is obviously something that appeals to her about Catholicism. She shared her beliefs with you while you were growing up, and it is your choice as an adult whether or not you subscribe to the tenets of Catholicism, or any other organized religion. She can't make you believe, or make you go to church, as much as you can talk her out of believing.

The catch is, you have to be respectful of other people's beliefs. In order for you to be free to be agnostic/atheist, you have to let other people be free to be whatever religion they want. Catholicism involves a lot of God and going to church, but it also involves famliy tradition. You don't have to believe in God to have Christmas Eve dinner with your family, and go to midnight mass. You don't have to believe in God to go to a baptism, or a first communion, or church wedding in support of your family or friends. You go because you love your family. If you had a friend who was Jewish or Muslim or Baptist, you would not reject an invitation to a special religious famliy function just because you're not Jewish or Muslim or Baptist. You would go because you want to support your friends in something they feel strongly about, and you should extend your family the same respect.

As far as bringing up your religious beliefs with your mother, I would just let sleeping dogs lie. She's not going to be happy about what you have to say, and you are going to feel bad and marginalized if she doesn't respect your beliefs. She's not going to give you a Get Out of Church Free card, and if she is a seriously religious person, she will probably fret for your immortal soul. You can't start a fight about it though, because as strongly as you feel non-religious, she feels the opposite, and to try to tear away at her beliefs, especially beliefs she has held for her entire life, will be fruitless at best, and damaging to your relationship.

Q #1: What is the protocol on contacting/befriending/possibly asking out a former teacher? I am 18, my (former) teacher is 10 years older than me, and I haven't seen him for four years. I would contact him via email. I really want to see him again but I know that he probably won't remember me, or if he does, won't want to talk to someone who he used to teach. Now that I have actually typed my question, I see how hopeless, creepy, and dumb it sounds, but I am going to send it anyway. I hope you can give me some advice!

Q #2: I am a sophomore in college, and there's this teacher from my high school that I've had a huge crush on for years (he's ten years older than me). We still stay in contact from time to time. I recently discovered that he has a Facebook. Would it be totally weird or completely inappropriate of me to add him? I probably wouldn't even consider it if he was just, you know, that teacher from high school, but the truth is I'm incredibly attracted to him and have a much bigger connection to him than most of his ex-students probably do.

A: I've received a few of these type questions recently... here's why this will probably not work:

1. This person was paid to be nice to you. It was their JOB to make a connection with you, in order for them to be able to teach you what they were required to teach you. A good teacher will make you feel important, and like they are your friend, cause that makes it easier to teach you shit than if they were just a dick, and all like DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

2. When you were in this person's class, no matter how cool you felt, you were in a state of hormonal turmoil. Teenagers are all like this. The hormones are all in a tizzy, and they fixate on someone completely. All of the dudes in your class were probably tools, so you projected your hormonal lust on this young teacher, cause he was so mature and worldly, and (paid to be) nice to you. It is like a baby duck, when they come out of their eggs, they imprint on their mothers in order to know how to be a duck. Teenaged girls sexually imprint on some handsome young teacher guy, cause the teacher is the first nice, manly dude they've come across since coming into their own sexuality, aside from their dads. So, you probably don't really like the teacher that much, you just associate him with your panties getting wet for the first time.

3. Since this person is a professional (see item #1), the only things you know about him are the things that are appropriate to share with a student... You don't know about any of his weird hangups, substance abuse problems, relationship history, STDs, etc. Of course you think he's great, cause he is not allowed telling you about things that might make you think otherwise. Maybe he has three girlfriends, and just hops from bed to bed every night, or maybe he lives with is mother. You don't know, because being a professional person divorces you from making deep truthful connections with your charges. Being in love with your highschool teacher is only a step or two up from being in love with some dude in a teen magazine-- you probably know just as much about your teacher as you do about the Jonas Brothers, you dig?

4. If (IF!) he wanted to date you, what would that say about him? I am not saying there is anything wrong with YOU, but dating your students seems a little predatory to me... Even if you are legal now (or, in the case of question #1, barely legal), he shouldn't really be dating you. Prowling for tail in the math class you teach is skeevy, even at a college level. If he was to date you, a young former student, who is to say he wouldn't upgrade to another, younger former student once she crossed into legal-ness? Plus, a 10 year age difference isn't much when you are older, but when you are still young, it is quite a difference. I'm just saying, as a person who is 28, and has friends who are older, one would get weird looks from their friends if they started dating a teenager, or someone in their very early 20s. So, you are up against the opinions of his peers, and possibly his employer, who would probably not be psyched about your relationship, even if it is legal.

In closing, I think it would be one thing if the age gap was a lot smaller (ie. you were in his first class he ever taught when he was like 22 or 23, and you were a junior or senior then), and you ran in the same social circles after your graduated and went off to college. If you were like 24 or 25, and he was like 30, and you saw him at your favorite bar all the time, he hung out with your friend's boyfriend, maybe he was teaching at a totally different school than the one you met him at... then, sure, maybe it would be alright. But having to fish for it leads me to believe it is just infatuation, and it would probably be best for everyone involved to just leave it alone. There are a lot of hot dudes in the world for you to date. You can fuck those dudes, and have teacher/naughty student fantasy sex with them, rather than creating a giant mess, or putting anyone in a real-life awkward position.

Oh, Hey, if you have something to send in for Ask Natalie, email it to [email protected] . Also, make it so the subject line of your email says ASK NATALIE, it makes my life 1000% easier, and makes it so your question doesn't accidently get deleted.

One more thing, DON'T SEND YOUR EMAIL A TON OF TIMES... I had a handful of questions this time around that were sent in 3-4 times each, and that just makes me not wanna answer 'em (so I don't.) It is the petulant teenager in me.
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