Rat god

I spend a lot of time alone in a basement, surrounded by rats. Because of my sacharin nature, I have not been able to keep my foolish heart from becoming attached to my furry little experimental subjects. Some experiments that I conduct require me to sit in silence for long periods of time as I watch my rats explore, freeze, groom, poop, or otherwise ruin my experiment. Naturally, my brilliant mind wanders. Often, it wanders straight into crazy town (see below).

I hate how afraid my rats are of me. Every time I open up their cages to deftly pick them up at the base of their tails and gently place them in whatever experimental apparatus I pre-ordained for them that day, they flail their little feet as if I was doing something horribly torturous. Usually the task my rats are being drama queens about is something fairly benign from my point of view, like placing them into a large round container for 5 minutes while absolutely nothing bad happens to them – I’m just there to observe how much time they spend hugging the edges of the circle versus strutting confidently in the middle (this is a measure of anxiety). Then right back they go to the comfort of their own little homes.

I wish I could explain to them that I come in peace, that I mean them no harm. I wish I could explain to them that the bizarre little rituals I’m putting them through are for a reason. A grand reason that no street rat – whose miserable little existence comprises of  slinking around city dumpsters to forage for food before it gets eaten by a hawk or poisoned by pest control – would ever dream of. These lab rats of mine will never have such a gritty existence because these are no ordinary rats. They have special genetic mutations that cause them to over produce the “bad” form of a protein so that they begin to resemble humans with Alzheimer’s disease as they age. Almost everything about them – how anxious they are, how long it takes them to fall asleep, how well they learn a new task, how quickly they will give up in a challenging task, where and how much pathology is in their brains – could be an important key to helping millions of humans with Alzheimer’s disease. Think about how many humans aren’t even blessed with that sort of distinct purpose.

Another scientist in another lab created this rat strain for such a time as this. We didn’t kidnap their ancestors off the streets to fulfill our evil scientific schemes – these rats would not even exist if not for scientists. And then they came to me. I decide what happens in their lives. Some I randomly assign to be breeders. As such they get to have lots of great sex and raise little families. #toblessedtobestressed But most rats I assign for my experiments. They could be designated to a very short experiment, and the last thing they ever experience will be mild confusion in a weird new box before they join the Big Rat in the Sky. Or, they could be involved in a very long, complicated experiment in which they will be subject to all sort of weird environments, some even mildly aversive or painful, and have a lot of interaction with a large scary mammal who smells like coffee and tacos. Sometimes this large scary mammal seems sinister – most of them remember her taking them into a new, stinky room, losing consciousness, and then waking up with their head screaming in pain. But sometimes this large scary mammal seems compassionate – they also remember her visiting them at home when they had headaches, and giving them yummy food that eased the ache in their heads. This large scary mammal also frequently put them in stressful situations, but never seemed to let anything actually bad happen to them. Until, well… They don’t like to think about why all those cousins never came back that one time.

I am, essentially, Rat god.

I’m much more advanced, capable, powerful than these critters -why do I want to explain myself to them? Why do I care what they think about me? Why do I want to make myself known to them?

Because they’re cute.

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And this has led me to have a thought that’s probably wildly irreverent. One part of the Christian story that never made tons of sense to me was why God would ever choose to reveal himself to us. Why not just let us go about our dumb petty lives and then die, never the wiser? But my stint as Rat god has made me wonder.. What if God decided to work humankind into his plan and reveal himself to us because, well… he thinks we’re cute?

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Just think it over before you immediately dismiss it, that’s all I ask!

 

— Editorial Notes —

Obviously the God-as-kind-scientist metaphor can only go so far, but that’s ok. I’m not trying to design a new religion, so everyone spit out that grapefruit-flavored Topo Chico you just drank!

Girlfriend of 18 months “honored” that she finally shares equal status with boyfriend’s dog

-ATLANTA

Sydney Glascow and boyfriend Allen Platano recently celebrated their 18 month anniversary. Sydney knew the celebration was going to be special, but she never would have let herself hope for what unfolded. At a dazzling dinner in the city, Allen cleared his throat shared something so deep and special that tears sprang to Sydney’s eyes.

“Babe, you know I’m not a sappy man but I have to tell you – I think.. I’m beginning to care about you as much as I care about Buddy.”

Sydney could barely believe her ears. She knew what a special connection they shared, and her heart nearly exploded to think that her connection with Allen was equally as special.

“Does this mean I can sit with both of you on the sofa now?” She asked breathily. Allen paused. “I never thought about the implications but.. maybe. Wait, hold on…” he mused for a tormenting 15 seconds. “Yes!”

Sydney sprang up from her seat and began to dance energetically, just like Allen liked. “Dreams really do come true!”

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Icky feelings in your tum-tum do not dictate what’s right

A few weeks ago a young feller was recalling an interweb exchange he had, in which he floored someone with a story that was meant to provide an airtight case for moral ambiguity. I don’t really remember the details of the story, but it was something to do with a man with cancer (or who had a kid with cancer?) deciding to rob a bank because he would either 1) get the money or 2) be killed and his kid would get his life insurance money. Something like that. The young feller told me, victory shining in his eyes, “So who’s wrong- the man, or the police officers who shot him?”

I can’t stand stories like this. They’re meant to guilt you out of condemning the bad action. “Wow,” we’re supposed to exclaim, “I never considered that people who do bad things may have a personal history that made them think they had no choice in the matter! Or that they could do bad for good reasons!” The Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie taps into this too. The movie gives you the context to the Joker’s background, which is so disturbing and sad that you almost cheer for him as he *SPOILER* murders all those meanies who bullied him.

But the thing is – you can understand the reasons behind someone’s evil actions.. or feel sorry for them… or see how the people they are murdering or stealing from or otherwise victimizing are also evil themselves… but that still doesn’t make their actions good or right.* Violence is violence, evil is evil, bad is bad. Other violence, other evil, and other bad doesn’t necessarily cancel it out. Even if you feel sympathetic towards them.

In the same vein – I wrote a blog post a while back begging women to not post public pictures of their bosoms while breastfeeding. I provided multiple excellent examples to demonstrate my point. Some of those examples were a little crude. They weren’t crude for crude’s sake- I used them to demonstrate points like “privacy doesn’t equal shame.” A few of my readers expressed dismay and disgust that I made those comparisons, saying things like, “Making that comparison is just.. ew.” Like a disgust reaction from them was enough to negate my entire argument. Poppycock! I’m not trying to be a jerk, seriously. But just because a comparison is upsetting, gross, weird, or triggering doesn’t mean the comparison doesn’t hold true.

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This cannot be your moral guidepost!

The point is, my fellas** and fellos, that sometimes what is right and true is upsetting, and sometimes what is wrong won’t be upsetting. I don’t like many truths, like Kesha removing the ‘$’ from her name. I’m not super bothered by other wrongs, like when a woman murders her cheating husband. Our degree of tum tum hurt, upsettedness, or anger is not an argument against.. anything. Our tummies are not our Truthometer. Just because some jerk blogger is using intentionally provocative examples to drive their point home does not mean they’re wrong.

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*I’m talking on the level of personal morality not a nation or political system. I think the United States taking out Osama Bin Laden was justifiable and right.

**I just realized what a feminine sounding word “fellas” is, even though it traditionally refers to menfolk. From now on, I demand that men be “fellos” and women be “fellas” for the sake of continuity and parallelism in the English language!

 

 

How to slay with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Let’s be honest ladies – even a PhD isn’t an excuse to look like a sad mushroom in lab. Just because your day is filled with cleaning up rodent poo doesn’t mean your beauty shouldn’t shine forth! I have been working in an animal laboratory for over 10 years now, and I have picked up little tricks along the way to make sure that even the drabbest of labs can’t shroud my popping looks. Below, I have demonstrated some of my favorite tips. Please study carefully to properly employ in your own laboratory setting, and let me know if you have any of your own sassy tricks to add to the mix!

 

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#1: Choose a flirty color of latex-free glove to add a pop of color to your outfit. Extra points if it complements your eye color!

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A mask is no reason look expressionless. Draw a sassy little pout on your mask to remind those around you that you are more than a pair of eyes.

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Be aware of your environment, and take advantage of props to strike irresistible poses.

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Don’t let the billowy lab gowns keep you from displaying your best features. Rock this off-the-shoulder lab gown to tease all the menfolk around you senseless.

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If you must cover your hair with a cap, try this jaunty tilt to add depth and charisma to your look.

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Never be too shy to show a little leg.

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Try gathering your gown behind you so your curvaceous figure can do the talking.

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If all else fails, stick your bum out while your pushing a cart. 100% success rate!

Feeling beautiful? Send me your own laboratory glam looks!

New app ranks family members to help you plan family gatherings

Are you exhausted from trying to schedule your family gatherings? Do you often regret planning events that only your least favorite family members attend? Studies show you’re not alone. Gallo Research Institute estimates up to 130% of families experience deep distress around the holidays, mostly due to scheduling snafus.

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Thanks to a new app ToodleDoodle that is partnering with scheduling app Doodle and task management app Toodledo, families can now seamlessly plan their holiday gatherings. Family members can not only enter their available times, but ToodleDoodle uses advanced algorithms that allow the organizers to choose gathering times based on the availability of family members weighted by their importance. That way, families with the most cute grandkids get top priority, and single family members over age 25 with bad cooking skills will not skew the scheduling toward undesirables.

Look out for the 2020 version, ToodleDoodlenmo. This app will synchronize with your Venmo account so that family members can enter how much they were planning to spend on each other. The app will then just redistribute the money accordingly. For example, if Uncle Joe was going to buy you a $20 gift, you were going to buy Aunt Diane a $10 gift, and Aunt Diane was going to buy both of you a $5 gift, then Aunt Diane pays $0, you pay $0, and Uncle Joe gives you $5 and Aunt Diane $10. We think? That’s what the advanced algorithms are for! The point is, pesky gift shopping will be a thing of the past.

Download today!

Are you unequally faceboked?

It is with great heaviness of heart I report a recent phenomenon scouring the Christian community: couples who are unequally faceboked.  You know who I’m referring to – she publicly proclaims her love for her boo every Birthday, anniversary, and father’s day, but he hasn’t logged onto facebook for 17 months. Or his profile picture features their wedding photo, but hers still features her face and the shoulder of a high school boyfriend.

Many couples struggle with mismatched facebook activity. It can create a discordance that ripples into their actual lives. Many men report feeling “extreme sorrow” that their girlfriends or wives cannot appreciate a witty meme they have shared because they’re so disconnected from the online community. One man complained, “I put my heart and soul into a meme, and she just asked ‘who’s that blonde woman yelling at that cat? Is she an ex-girlfriend you’re still pining for?!'”

Women have also expressed frustration when they continually post pictures of their boo with hearts and kiss-face emojis, and their husbands or boyfriends do not even bother to like their post. “I just feel so humiliated. My friends have noticed he never likes our couple pictures. Many have asked if he’s a hired model, or if our relationship is on the rocks,” confided one woman.

If you’re already married and unequally faceboked, the Galloblog staff recommend seeking emergency counseling. If you are in a dating relationship,  we strongly encourage you to sit down with your significant other and cast a vision for facebook compatibility. “Communicating concrete expectations is key,” says Dr. C Gallo. It’s not insurmountable if you’re unequally faceboked, but it is a sign of a major problem in your relationship. Dr. Gallo added, “There’s no shame in getting help- sync your activity now for a brighter future.”

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^an evenly faceboked couple beams as they peruse their home page. ❤

Report: Dating couple “thrilled” about relentless hints about marriage over the holidays

-ATLANTA

Local couple Rebecca and Max have both always loved the holidays, but this year is more special than ever. Over Thanksgiving and the Christmas season, the couple has encountered dozens of extended family members hinting darkly about nuptials.

“It’s exhilarating to be grilled about the future of your relationship in front of your entire family and significant other while you’re trying to relax,” Rebecca gushed. She explained that dating years are like dog years. Having been with Max for longer than 6 months, they are seen as life partners.

“Rebecca usually flies through the men so fast, her relationship with Max has whipped us all into a frenzy,” Rebecca’s Aunt Jean explained. “Not only did we see Max at Easter, he’s still here at Thanksgiving. It’s cute how they seem to have a Kurt Russell-Goldie Hawn thing going on.”

Max mentioned he enjoys reminders about the length of his and Rebecca’s relationship paired with expert advice on how quickly to progress the relationship. “I honestly didn’t know how long Rebecca and I had been dating, until my cousin reminded me. It was such a blessing to hear what the appropriate stage of commitment Rebecca and I should be at right now.”

Rebecca especially enjoys the educational conferences from family members and friends about her biological limitations. “I have a PhD in neuroscience, but I guess we never covered human reproduction in relation to aging. Who knew I had such little time left!” Rebecca marveled.

Max and Rebecca both confirmed neither of them had even considered the future of their relationship before their familyies brought up so many good points. “I never really thought of Rebecca as wife material,” Max explained. “But after all these these distant family members told me where our relationship should be, I guess I’m headed to the ring shop.” Rebecca chimed in “That is so incredibly romantic, babe! We can’t waste these eggs, now can we?”

What’s Rebecca’s and Max’s Christmas wish? “That all dating couples had families and friends that were so helpful and informative as ours!”

Feliz Navidad! 😉

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Are women untouchable goddesses or helpless victims?

Women, can we come to a consensus about how we’re choosing to brand ourselves? Even as a woman, I’m confused about how women want me to see women. Are we untouchable goddesses, or helpless victims?

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On one hand, we have an uber feminist narrative that makes loud and brash claims about female superiority and independence. We have songs like Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” saying

I’m that bad type
Make your mama sad type
Make your girlfriend mad tight
Might seduce your dad type
I’m the bad guy, duh

You said she’s scared of me?
I mean, I don’t see what she sees
But maybe it’s ’cause I’m wearing your cologne

Apparently hearing about an underage girl (she was 17 when she wrote about seducing dads.. eeks!) being a sadistic ho-ho to men and women alike makes Cosmo girls feel totes empowered.

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Then there’s Lizzo, also a rising star in female empowerment,  who says

Yeah, I got boy problems, that’s the human in me | Bling bling, then I solve ’em, that’s the goddess in me

Well now I feel foolish. This whole time I thought solving one’s relationship problems was just a normal part of being a grown up.  Then Cardi B has an entire shtick around being as crass and arrogant as male rappers

I need to let all these hoes know | That none of they niggas is safe

So as a woman, I’m supposed to be empowered by hearing a very rich, famous, beautiful woman brag about stealing my man? Or am I supposed to internalize the arrogance and steal the men of women less beautiful than me? Hmmm. I hope my nieces model their lives after this one! Moving on from the music industry, there are several new female action heroes (e.g. Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, the female 007, etc.) being praised for showing that women are kick-booty (literally)! According to this narrative, women are rough, tough, powerful, and just completely superior in every way to the buffooned males we occasionally allow to pleasure us.

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On the other hand, we have another manifestation of feminism that wants women to be a protected class. In ironic contrast to the paragraph above, apparently it is sexist to ask women to meet the same physical requirements as men to enter the military.  So women can do everything that men can do! … but with a large caveat – *if* you lower the bar for what men can do. There is also a strain of the #metoo movement * that is telling us even imbalanced power dynamics between a man and woman completely vindicate her of any responsibility in a sexual relationship. If a woman is approached by her boss or some other male in power, she is suddenly rendered completely defenseless and actually compelled to be subservient to his every desire. An adult woman suddenly has the mental, emotional, and moral reasoning of an 8 year old. So now women are delicate fleurs that wilt in submission before any man who has a smidge of power. Thus, they need to be protected like children.

… What?????

Women need to stop making idiotic, obviously-false claims of goddessery, but women also need to stop telling other women how powerless they are. The former makes women sound like delusional psychopaths, and the latter is derogatory and disempowering to members of our own sex. It’s not victim-blaming to point out that women are responsible agents in their own life – it’s offering hope to a younger generation entering the workforce.

Women don’t need to paint our entire sex in one broad brush stroke so that we can push what we want to be true about ourselves at a given moment in time. Want to feel better after you get dumped? You’re a goddess. Want to feel like you didn’t have any choice but to allow your creeper boss to feel you up? Now you’re a victim.

We don’t need to squash mankind with a wave of female superiority, but we don’t need to hide** from them either. We don’t need to take on the worst attributes traditionally attributed to men (lack of empathy, exploitation, etc.), and we definitely don’t need to take on the worst attributes traditionally attributed to women enslaved in the sex industry (powerlessness, dependence).

Let’s be kind. Let’s be mature and responsible. Let’s protect other women when we can, but let’s also give younger women a reason to hope for better. Let’s respect the majority of men who are not predators, and stand up to predatory men. Let’s examine whether we are intimidated or offended by men’s success and accomplishments. (If you are, that’s an ego problem of your own that needs working on.) Let’s celebrate and cheer-on men and women.

Some women are incredibly strong, but none of us are goddesses. Some women are incredibly vulnerable, but that doesn’t make all women victims.  Whether or not a woman is strong or vulnerable is not simply an inevitable virtue of being a woman. Women are individuals who happen to be women. That’s it.

Thats It GIF by VH1 - Find & Share on GIPHY

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*I’m not anti-#metoo in general, but I find this particular idea that the #metoo movement has propagated particularly problematic. You know what was a good sentence because I used 3 “P” words in a row – BOOM!

**The first time I wrote this, I accidentally wrote “we don’t need to hike from [men] either.” TRY TO CATCH US NOW MEN, WE’RE UP ON AN EFFIN MOUNTAIN! Lolz.

This article was expertly edited by the infamous Dania Vititoe, a contributing writer to Galloblog and sister of C Gallo. 

Do you suffer from delusions of petiteur?

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My very first “about something” post for little Galloblog was titled “Dismounting the activism high horse.” I wrote about how I had stopped feeling the need to use my social media accounts to change the world. I recommended shifting the focus from grandiose goals for world change (“I’m going to combat world hunger!”) to realistic goals for changing your immediate surroundings (“I’m going to bring dinner to a struggling family I heard about from a mutual friend”).

I still agree with that post, to a certain degree. But I also wonder if I’ve gone too far in the other direction. Should I ignore the ills of the world? Can I really do nothing positive to help people that aren’t in my immediate circle? Mais non! Consider the following brilliant points:

One, there is a circularity to this thinking. My former conviction to focus on those around me has also fostered a callousness and indifference to The World. I know I can’t stop poverty or racism or men wearing crop-tops, so I don’t let myself think or learn about those social ills. I hate knowing about a problem and not being able to fix it. I’ve convinced myself I can’t fix it, so I ignore it. But of course my astute readers can see the circularity here – we ignore problems so they persist, they persist so we ignore them. 

Two, occasionally one person or a handful of people actually do something that is good. Women and men did come together and advocate for women’s right to vote in the United States, and now women can vote. That didn’t solve all inequality and sexism out there, but it was a good thing. Something that was worth knowing about and fighting for.

Three, sometimes even meager improvements – in relation to the grand scale of the problem – are very impactful to certain individuals. Chemotherapy didn’t cure cancer, and many people still die from cancer. But the development of chemotherapy as cancer treatment has allowed some people with cancer to live much longer than they would without. Does more still need to be done? Of course. But chemotherapy was worth working on.

Finally, sometimes you have to do the best you can with what you know, all the while knowing that you are also going to introduce some new or different bad in your attempt to bring about good. The medical community has made great progress in treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, so now we’re much more likely to die from horrible chronic diseases. Still, I’m extremely happy that dying from diarrhea is no longer a major threat to our society.

Some big issues are worth caring about and working toward. And maybe different people are more prone to and qualified for working toward different scales of change – whether that be at the macro (world hunger!), mezzo (hungry children in my congressional district!), micro (one hungry family in my neighborhood!).. nano (hungry rats in my attic?!) level. But I doubt anyone’s off the hook.. so shake off your delusions of petiteur and do something grande. 😉

*awkwardly remounts the horse*

Jojo Fletcher Mount GIF by The Bachelorette - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

 

WWJD: Who Would Jesus Diss

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So apparently two full grown adults, who happen to be famous Christians, have some beef with each other. As far as I am aware, neither has spoken to the other personally, but rather they have referenced the other’s comments or platforms via public forums such as social media, interviews, and large conferences. And now the Christian community at large is all aflutter. I honestly would never have known who said what and when if not for individuals feeling the need to leap into the fray and declare their support for one and/or disdain for the other. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who is scripturally sound? Who is more Christ-like? Who sits on a throne of lies? Who smells like beef and cheese? Personally, my question is, “Who cares?” 

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Why are we speculating over which of the two is most likely to host Pancakes with Beelzebub? What exactly do we have riding on this?

What would be laughable if it weren’t so sad is how predictably the lines fall for the debate. On one side:

  • Posts IG pictures of a steaming mug next to a highlighted devotional
  • Cried watching The Blind Side
  • Almost certainly has a Live Laugh Love sign somewhere in their home

On the other side:

  • Likely have no idea what IG stands for
  • Typed up their treatise on why they support Person A on Microsoft Word, pausing periodically to consult their 36 volume, leather bound set of Greek-Hebrew concordances of the New and Old Testaments
  • Would never get a tattoo… but if they did, it would be a toss up on an upper arm portrait either of John Piper or St Augustine

I almost get the feeling that these two factions have been simmering in resentment towards each other and leapt on this opportunity to condemn those filthy sinners on “the other side”. In all likelihood, they could really complement each others’ strengths and weaknesses if they so chose. But where is our love for one another? Why do we feel the need to join into these camps?

None of this is to say that Christians can’t discuss and debate points of theology. It would be disastrous if we never questioned one another or dug into what scripture tells us. In my mind, there is a difference between discussing the merits of an idea, the scriptural accuracy of a specific teaching, etc., and gleefully condemning an individual, name calling, and self-righteous posturing. A prime example for the most current debate: “I can’t believe this scum sucking pig would dare to insult a fellow Christian! That son of a motherless goat!”

The individuals in this public conflict are just two humans. Our faith isn’t dictated by what they say or believe. Neither one of them is without sin, and none of us are, either. Why don’t we focus on the only one who is? Maybe we could spend more time reading what he said instead of someone else’s book or commentary. This petty squabbling makes a mockery of the church. Let’s stop rushing to divide ourselves by allegiance to a mortal teacher. Let’s look at the unifying factor among us and celebrate Him.

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