Do You Donate Money for Political Purposes?

I keep getting messages and letters asking me to donate money to political campaigns. For instance, there is something going on in Wisconsin that averages two donation-seeking messages per day. Plus there is always the presidential campaign. And there is that extremely weird homophobe guy who, for some unfathomable reason, has decided that I’m one of his followers and keeps asking me to give him money to help sponsor his homophobic political activities.

I never donate money to politicians because I don’t see the point. Where is the money supposed to go? To buy advertisement? It seems really weird to me that candidates should win on the basis of how many billboards and TV spots they manage to buy. And what is there to advertise, anyway? People who are unaware of Obama and Romney are those who will probably not vote anyway. I mean, do you know anybody who has watched a campaign ad and changed their mind as to who they wanted to vote for?

Is this drive to hit people for money part of the consumerist mentality or is there a real reason to donate money to political campaigns?

How Often Do You Get Googled?

If you are on, how often do you get messages from it that somebody has searched for you? I made the mistake of starting an profile a while ago, and now I get these notifications every day. I haven’t been updating that profile or visiting it at all, yet I keep getting informed of these searches.

The idea that people Google me (not me, the blogger, as you understand, but the RL me) every day is extremely unnerving. I don’t have an important name in my field just yet (and at the rate this stupid manuscript goes I never will), so it isn’t fellow academics. Neither would my students engage in such searches. At least, not on a daily basis.

This is why I’m wondering if this is normal. Please share how often informs you that you have been Googled. I’m getting really paranoid here.

A Break From Research

I’ve burned myself out working on this manuscript, people. In the past month, I have written two completely new sections on two new novels and transformed one chapter completely. I have revised other chapters. I have also created a detailed plan for the new version of the introduction. At the same time, I was teaching my online course, translating a novel, doing other translation jobs, and developing new courses for next year.

As a result, I haven’t been able to start working on actually writing the introduction. I’ve tried everything: writing in a separate file, writing by hand, walking around trying to find the words, starting at the screen stupidly for hours – nothing works. This is giving me nightmares and causing me intense anxiety.

I was hoping to have the entire thing ready before I leave on my trip on the 15th. But I realize that this is not happening and there is nothing very tragic about that. So it will be done a month later than planned, what’s the big deal, right? RIGHT?

I have now decided to take a complete break from research until I come back from my trip at the end of July. I have also decided to make heroic efforts to avoid feeling like a loser about this. I hate going back on my own decisions and changing my own plans.

P.S. The reason why I’m publishing this intensely boring post is to convince myself that I’m doing the right thing. So please bear with me.


I was asked to blog about friendship, so here goes. I don’t need nearly as much sociability as other people. To me, the people one chats with from time to time are not friends, even though said chatting  takes place every day.

Friendship, for me, is exactly the same as love but without the sexual and romantic component. If I call somebody my friend, it means I’m emotionally plugged into that person, irrespective of where they are and how much time we get to spend together, and care about everything that happens to them.  I don’t have the time, the energy, the emotional resources, or the need to have this sort of a relationship with many people. I feel the happiest with one male and one female BFF. Until a vacancy goes open, I can’t take on any new BFFs.

At this point in life, I don’t have a female BFF. In adulthood, I’ve had three. (I don’t really count childhood friendships here, as cute as they might have been.) These friendships were intense and beautiful but they all fell apart. The first one disintegrated when the BFF decided to pursue the existence of a kept* woman. After she did that, everybody who made a different choice in life made her very angry. I put up with her aggression for a very long time (people who know me in RL will confirm that I was extremely patient with this person for longer than anybody could understand) but eventually it stopped making any sense at all to me to spend time with a person who seemed to feel nothing but anger towards me.

The second BFF became a housewife and we simply don’t have anything to talk about any longer.

The third BFF let me down at a very difficult time in my life. And then did it again. I let people disappoint me once, but after the second time I lose interest completely and everything that I felt for them is instantly erased. I don’t do this on purpose. It’s a psychological mechanism of self-protection that turns off the feelings I have for somebody who has a tendency to hurt me.

Right now, the position of my female BFF remains vacant. When I traveled to Germany in May, I really envied my sister for her BFF. I would not mind at all finding such a complex, well-read, feminist, strong and opinionated woman to be my BFF. This isn’t something that happens on demand, though. Finding a real friend is only a little easier than finding a good romantic partner.

The reason why I have friends at all is not because I feel lonely without them. There are so many things that need to be done that there is no time for loneliness. Having a friend is good because I enjoy the feelings I have for him or her. The feeling is what I miss now that I don’t have a female BFF.

What I find very annoying is when people confuse friendship with other types of relationships. “My best friend is my husband / sister / mother!” they gush without realizing that this only demonstrates that they have no idea how to be either a friend or a spouse / sibling / parent / child.

These, in short, are my feelings about friendship.

* The difference between a kept woman and a housewife is that the former does not even pretend to give a toss about the man who keeps her.