January 25, 2010

Profile pictures

It's amazing how something as simple as taking a picture of yourself can bring out anxieties, feelings of inadequacy, and concern for how your friends/family/network/strangers will view you. I suppose part of the reasoning lies in how we view ourselves, and the way we cope with our limitations -- perceived or actual. We try to select images that showcase the best version of ourselves. This is especially true of online dating websites like eHarmony or Match.com. Humans are a visual species and the desire to form a relationship -- platonic or sexual -- is initiated by appearance. But what I didn't realize is that what constitutes the "best profile picture" depends a lot on your gender. This blog analyzed over 7,000 profile pictures to see how eye contact, facial expression, background, etc. impact the interest you receive from the other gender. The results are somewhat unexpected!


January 21, 2010

Barbie's next career

A fellow woman in science recently posted in her blog that Mattel is letting the public vote for which career the iconic Barbie doll toy should have next.  Your choices are: environmentalist, surgeon, architect, news anchor and computer engineer.  I'm partial to computer engineer because (1)  news anchor seems so cliche and (2) I'm not sure if environmentalist is this the same as environmental scientist or if Mattel will use this as a platform for a Barbie who is green and hyperaware of her carbon footprint.  Regardless of your preference, go vote!

Go forth and vote!

The original blog post can be found at:

January 18, 2010

Sides to a person

I can always tell when I'm really comfortable with someone.  I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, even if it is embarrassing or silly, and I laugh so hard I cry.  That's how I know I trust the person with the real me.  No masks.  No careful editing.  But sometimes, for one reason or another, I feel that I have to show only certain sides of me.  For example, there's a guy I work with, and although we're friends, he has never seen the real me.  I'm very careful not to be too vocal about my political or religious thoughts.  [He's the complete opposite with no room for discussion.]  I'm very careful not to divulge items I intend to purchase [as they tend to show up on my desk.]  I'm a toned-down diluted version of me.  And while he thinks we're such good friends, I know that it's all a half-truth.  But I do it because it's what I want.

January 10, 2010

Small steps forward

So perhaps I was a bit melodramatic with my first 2010 post. My love for heartbreak isn't the same now as it was back in summer. It is tempered and much more cautious. I am constantly aware of the game -- the one I play with myself by engaging him in conversation and hanging out; the one he plays with himself by not wanting me to be with anyone else, but we aren't together. He recently told me that everyday, when he drives home from work, he wonders how he could've fucked all this up. I just stared at him and didn't say a word.

In other news, I went bowling with a couple guys from the service organization I belong to. Despite the fact that I had to invite myself, which seems impolite, they were very welcoming and fun to hang out with. And the guy who has rarely talked to me in before, during or after the weekly meetings, was quite the gentleman in leading me to the bowling alley. He even pulled over and waited for me to catch up, when I didn't make the light! A pleasant surprise. I wonder what future months will bring?

January 04, 2010

A new year

I'm usually so excited for a new year to begin. I hang my new calendar and flip to the first new page. I carefully put away the Christmas decorations and re-read the holiday cards. I give the apartment a thorough cleaning. I start to think of all the new adventures I want to have -- the places I want to see, the festivals I want to attend.

Yet this year isn't quite that way. I feel caught in a time warp, where despite the passing of days and months, nothing has really changed. I still love someone who broke my heart into a million pieces. I still struggle to meet new people and make friends. [Why are people so cliquey in this part of the state?] I still don't know what I want to do with my life. It is all so frustrating! I want to feel like an adult, but I'm a glorified child.

Perhaps 2010 is just starting off with trepidation. Maybe it'll get better.