Birthday Bash Day 9: Let’s talk about sex, sex education

For complete context about why I’m not having a birthday party for my 27th birthday this year and how you can still celebrate with me, read You’re Invited to My 27th Birthday Bash.

Christmas 1985, Jonathan's first and Erica's third.
Mommy, did Santa bring me a brother? I asked for a sister. (Check out my rocking Rainbow Bright nightie.)

Warning: This post is about sex. It is not about anyone’s sex life, but it is about sexual education and erotica.

When I was a little child, my mom had a medical reference picture book which talked about how babies developed. I assume she bought it so I wasn’t shocked when my brother Jonathan was born. I remember laying on the living room floor, in front of the TV, pouring over the illustrations of what a developing baby looked like inside its mother’s womb.

Besides this, my parents left sex education up to the schools. For three years in public school, 4th-6th grade, I received lectures about the changes happening in my young body. How babies were actually made was glimpsed only long enough so we knew you couldn’t get pregnant via kissing. (Jason informs me that this is what he thought after watching Look Who’s Talking.) After the first lecture, my mom came into my bedroom and asked me if I had any other questions. I told her no. And I guess this made her confident that the school did a good job. Especially when I mailed away for a ‘my first period’ kit that the school had given me a coupon for.

In 6th grade, things got a little more complex. For starters, sexual education was co-ed. Which meant immature boys. I was always a good student, and I remember being so mortified when I had to report 100% on my label the genitalia on this diagram tests.

However, when my period did come later that year, I calmly informed my mother and used the supplies in the kit. My only embarrassment came when we went to my maternal grandparent’s house that weekend, and my grandma and other female relatives made such a fuss over me growing up. (I was the oldest grandchild, and at the time, the only granddaughter.)

For 7th grade, I was moved to a Lutheran middle school, which I’ve already written a little bit about. Lutherans would rather do anything than talk about sex. Continue reading “Birthday Bash Day 9: Let’s talk about sex, sex education”

Birthday Bash Day 8: You have friends on the internet?

For complete context about why I’m not having a birthday party for my 27th birthday this year and how you can still celebrate with me, read You’re Invited to My 27th Birthday Bash.

My cat Winston converses with his internet friends.
My cat Winston converses with his internet friends. They make cat macros all day.

“But they’re your internet ‘friends,'” my maternal grandma said to me after I visited her post-WriterCon in 2004 and I showed her the photos of my fellow fangirls. “They aren’t, you know, weird?”

While my grandma only has my best interests at heart, her line of inquiry is one I’ve heard a lot. Yes, I have friends on the internet and the vast majority I met on the internet. And yes, I’ve met around 60% of them face-to-face. No, they’re not any more weird than I am, and *knock on wood* none of them are serial killers. But with shows like How to Catch a Predator spinning around in the zeitgeist, I’m not surprised I get these question.

True fact: the one and only time I’ve ever been cyberstalked was in college and it was an ex-boyfriend that I’d had in high school. I imagine this is true of most cyberstalking cases. Heck, look at the current cyber bullying problem; it’s all done by people the victim knew “in real life.”

Social networking, blogging, hanging out on these intertubes, it’s what I do, and naturally, I’ve made it a place to find friends. It’s certainly easier to find friends interested in the same things I am — Captain America, fluffy bunnies, and Lost Girl — with the entire world as my oyster. I’ve found that once you’ve met a handful of your online friends, from them on, one person knows another, who knows another. The world is far smaller than you’d think.

My internet friends aren’t just internet friends. They are my real life friends. They are the ones who cheer me up on a bad day with e-mails, photos, and silly stories. My “internet” friends let me and Jason crash at their homes when we went to the Olympics in Vancouver and when we went to DC this past fall. Some of them are acquaintances; some are good friends; and some are like family.

In 2004, I met my friend Jess online. I’d left her a comment on a piece of Buffy: the Vampire Slayer fanfiction she’d written about Willow/Tara, and whatever it was, we struck a cord together. We started e-mailing and im’ing back and forth. Jess lives in Boston, but was unemployed at the time, and when we started co-writing stories together, she started living on West Coast time. Eventually, we started talking on the phone. (Both of us can be talkers, especially if we start going on about our stories.) And in 2005, Jess made a trip out west to visit me and her siblings.

Explaining how a co-writer fits on your family tree is next to impossible to a non-writer. Continue reading “Birthday Bash Day 8: You have friends on the internet?”

My Birthday Bash Day 4: Icon of Everything, David Bowie

For complete context about why I’m not having a birthday party for my 27th birthday this year and how you can still celebrate with me, read You’re Invited to My 27th Birthday Bash.

David Bowie
Anyone who can pull of both looks unapologetically in his lifetime and be an all-around awesome and talented person is my hero.

When it comes to my heroes, I’m a bit compartmental. I want to write like Margaret Atwood. I want to create amazing art like J.H. Williams III. I want to play the bass guitar like Kim Deal. But since I was about 13-years-old, David Bowie has been my icon of everything. I don’t just want to sing, write songs, be outspoken, dress lavishly, etc. like him. I want to be like him. (Okay, I would also totally have sex with him. Which those “want to be” and “want in my bed” circuits in my brain have always cross-fired.)

But back to Bowie, what I like best about him is his attitude. A principle of living life to the fullest in all aspects. I love life as a performance, while managing to have an actual life. I love that, even as an older artist, he is who he is at that very moment. He’s confident in both his talents and his life. And especially when I was younger, struggling with my sexuality and being a “weirdo,” I felt a great kinship to Bowie and his story.

The summer before I went to college in 2002, I lost my mind and went to see Bowie perform at Moby’s Area2 concert at the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington. All summer, I should’ve been preparing and packing for college as I was moving to the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, which was about 6 hours away from my hometown. But no, I was obsessing about David Bowie. I read at least two biographies and everything I could find on the internet and watched Ziggy Stardust and Labyrinth over and over.

If you’ve never been to the Gorge Amphitheater, I highly recommend it. The stage backs up right to the Columbia Gorge so the performers are set behind perhaps the must beautiful natural setting possible. (Sadly, I seem to have lost or misplaced the few photos I had. Though I don’t remember clearly, but we may not have been able to bring cameras to the concert.) Continue reading “My Birthday Bash Day 4: Icon of Everything, David Bowie”

Birthday Bash Day 1: Mary Sue IN SPACE or How I wanted to marry Geordi LaForge

For complete context about why I’m not having a birthday party for my 27th birthday this year and how you can still celebrate with me, read You’re Invited to My 27th Birthday Bash.

Erica standing in front of a poster of Captain Picard.
Sadly, standing in front a Captain Picard poster in an Oregon mall is the closest I've gotten to meeting Patrick Stewart.

Star Trek: the Next Generation premiered when I was 3, almost 4-years-old. Some of my first memories are watching it with my mother. I’m pretty sure I cried when they killed off Tasha Yar. In addition to my early sci-fi addiction, I also started authoring stories as soon as I could write my name. My stories usually featured the adventures of myself and my cat. But everything is better IN SPACE.

Soon my cat and I were space travelers, and it didn’t take us long to board the USS Enterprise-D. Once aboard and in the grand tradition of all Mary Sues, I discovered that lo-and-behold I was the long-lost daughter of Captain Picard. (Because seriously, who wouldn’t want Patrick Stewart to read you bedtime stories and order you Earl Grey from the computer?) Yes, I realize Picard hates children (“Disaster”), and my young mind possibly ripped off the idea from “The Last Outpost.” Still, having Picard as your father would be pretty damn awesome.

But not everything was cups of hot tea and kitten snuggles, no, my first fake!daddy and I didn’t see eye to eye on everything. I wasn’t a child in my fantasies; I was an adult. And I had a life and a freaking spaceship of my own. I wasn’t always the best spaceship captain and got myself into a boatload of trouble. A little bit of a cross between Malcolm Reynolds and Vala Mal Doran (before they were invented, dammit). I could shoot a phaser and fight hand to hand combat with the best of them. Take that, Worf! But I also figured that some day, I could easily join Starfleet if I wanted. I was a genius after all.

Things became more amicable between my fake!daddy and I when I started to date Geordi LaForge. Continue reading “Birthday Bash Day 1: Mary Sue IN SPACE or How I wanted to marry Geordi LaForge”

Sprinkles Around the Web 8/6-8/12/10

Sprinkles from around the web

Links to astound and amazing you, dear reader.


• I went to Social Media Breakfast on Tuesday to see Kira Wampler from Ant’s Eye View/Intuit speak. Here were a couple the tips I tweeted:

Find the sexy about your business, which may not be your product itself.

Don’t stop at just listening to your customers. Do something too.

Employees needs guard rails for rules of online engagement. Want to do right by the company.


Runaways Movie Casting Breakdown Racebending brings a summary of the casting for the Runaways movie, and the actor requirements don’t even mention the character being Japanese-America. Instead she’s “Uniquely beautiful, nurturing but guarded.” Worth noting that most casting breakdowns are horribly stereotypical, even if the end result of a film is not. However, after the complete whitewashing of The Last Airbender

Will You Subvert the Dominant Paradigm for a Cookie? The return of the Joss Whedon puppy. Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web 8/6-8/12/10”

Sprinkles Around the Web 7/23-7/29/10

Links I enjoyed this week from around the internet.

Sprinkles from around the web


Why Your Customers Don’t Want to Talk to You. This is a very interesting study in how customers like easy, low-bar self-service. I think this is very important as there are many days, I love the self-service checkout at the grocery store.


What BP Could Have Bought With All the Money They Lost. I love infographics. And this is kind of a crazy, crazy amount of profit. Like does any company need this much money? It could do so much good in the world.

China launches oil spill clean-up after pipeline blasts. There’s another oil spill happening, only this time in the Yellow Sea in China. Two oil pipelines going into a port burst.

Fandom and Feminism

Live Nerd Girls. Lucy Knisley’s comic about how women are treated by men in nerd fandoms. And about the stories we tell ourselves in our heads. Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web 7/23-7/29/10”

Sprinkles Around the Web 7/02-7/08/10

Sprinkles from around the web

Standard warning: These are links that I found interesting, exciting, or relevant, and I hope you do too. But I don’t make any promises.


Scientists find oil blotches on Gulf crab larvae. Great. This is the first major consequence of both the dispersant and the oil. If you don’t count clean-up workers getting sick.

Tar balls wash up on Florida’s eastern coast. That’s right, the Gulf Oil Spill continues to spread.


How to Stop Worrying and Love Comics. Sometimes, you just have to remember what made you so passionate about your hobbies to start with. They should never be a chore. Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web 7/02-7/08/10”

Sprinkles Around the Web 6/11-7/01/10

Sprinkles from around the web

Links I’ve enjoyed from around the web. Your mileage may vary.


A photo of me from Seattle’s Gay Pride Parade 2010 on Sunday, June 27th.


Is the BP Gusher Unstoppable? Read the forum of geologists and oil professionals that has the science community buzzing. This is just beyond depressing, but is a must-read as it explains the science behind the gushing well.

Sea Turtle by Mauro Luna
Sea turtles are our friends and adorable. Also endangered.
BP’s burning sea turtles. A video of a boat captain talking about how BP stopped him and his crew from trying to find sea turtles in oil BP was setting on fire.

“We Don’t Need This on Camera”: BP’s Crappy Cleanup Job. BP continues to block reporters’ access to beaches affected by the Gulf Oil Spill. In some cases, beaches and wildlife are completely neglected.

From the Ground: BP Censoring Media, Destroying Evidence.

“BP doesn’t want the media taking pictures of oil on the beaches. You should see the oil that’s about six miles off the coast,” he said grimly. We looked down at the wavy orange boom surrounding the islands below us. The pilot shook his head. “There’s no way those booms are going to stop what’s offshore from hitting those beaches.”

Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web 6/11-7/01/10”