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Monday, December 21, 2009

Fuzz Therapy--Happy Holidays edition (and partial guest fuzz)

I know I'm posting this two days early, but I'll be leaving for Michigan tomorrow, and I won't have access to my hundreds of thousands of kitty pics; and I figured some early fuzzies will do everyone some good.  Also, please note that comments may be delayed in posting, since I won't be turning the moderation off.  My absence will not give the trolls free reign here, and I am adamant about maintaining a respectful space.  So please be patient.

To honor the holidays, I got you all a present:


Unwrap with extreme caution

I thought about actually wrapping Princess in paper, but I didn't think the paper would last long enough to snap a picture.  Or I wouldn't last long enough.  Either way that'd be a hell of mess to clean afterward.

And here's a bonus kitty named Tucker, provided by a commenter who sometimes goes by Cheese Sammich (lol):



I don't know what I love about Tucker most: that he looks like he dipped his face in milk, the "yes, this is my space, and yes, you are intruding upon it" look, or that his massive fuzziness is so damn tempting it hurts.

Happy holidays everyone!  See you all next week.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Well, it's Sunday which means it's time for me to share my increasingly infrequent collection of links.  Enjoy.

The Pain. The Pain. Liss of Shakesville discusses the horrific awfulness of Steven Seagal's new show.

"Muscle March is coming to American" or "We're afraid of being silly."   A silly game is being criticized for "being gay" despite that it's just a bunch of muscular men flexing.  It illustrates how easily "gay as insult" is thrown around.

How Can We Contribute To Society If You Won't Hire Us?  Discussing how transpeople, particularly transpeople of color, face job discrimination.

Sexist Beatdown: Mystery Dream Date Edition.  Totally awesome post about romantic-comedies.  From the post: "Yeah, romantic comedies set up this weird alternate universe where cheating isn’t bad, and is in fact encouraged, as long as you are hopelessly in love with Other Person whom you met about 2 days ago."


A Spark of Wisdom: Why do you expect one of us to be a woman in our gay relationship?  From the post: "We don't have to ape a straight couple to be acceptable or understandable. One of us doesn't have to pretend to be a woman for our relationship to work or be comprehended (and not even a real woman! Some 1950s Suzy Homemaker that I don't think has ever existed!) These questions ask us to conform, they say that if we're gay we should at least mimic heterosexuals as much as possible." 


Hope everyone else is having a lazy Sunday!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hell, I wouldn't mind some hot sex for MY birthday


I was talking to my friend at work about presents we were planning on getting our male significant others for xmas, when she suggested "Just give him sex."

And this got me thinking: why is it that every time I talk to a woman about what to get my fiance for a gift, they suggest sex?  Do men in heterosexual relationships encounter this when discussing what to buy their girlfriends or wives? Do men ever suggest to other men to give sex to their girlfriends or wives?  Does anyone make this suggestion to men and women in homosexual relationships, or is this strictly a heterosexual thing?

I just wonder about these things because within this one suggestion comes several assumptions: that men want sex, women withhold sex, and women should at least give sex to men on special occasions.  There is also this assumption that women don't enjoy sex (or at least shouldn't admit to liking it, or else they're filthy filthy sluts.  Or something.).

It also makes it sound like a chore for us ladies.  If it's a gift to the man, then it's almost like the woman is an object (sound familiar?); it's not about her beyond the scope of her parts.  It makes it only about getting the man off instead of creating an equal exchange of pleasure.

This only reinforces that sex is all about the man, that since women don't like sex anyway (or aren't supposed to) there is no need for reciprocation on the man's part.  It's her job right?

But many women enjoy sex, have sex, and, believe it or not, initiate sex (that's right; we don't wait around for a man to coerce us into "putting out.").

And I'm sure I'm not the only woman who wouldn't mind getting sex on her birthday...

Thoughts?

crossposted

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Random not-so late (not drunk) post--Jack Frost or Jack Frost?

I was just channel surfing, and noticed that Jack Frost is on. You know, that cute movie with Michael Keaton where his character dies and comes back as a snowman?  Well, it reminded me of the time that DaddyGrandeur aka "weekday dad" went out to rent us Jack Frost so we could watch it as a family.  Well, there are two movies (a few actually, but whatever) by that name.  I think I was 12 or 13 at the time, when the Michael Keaton version had just been released on video.

We all hunkered down to watch (what we thought was) a cute family movie.  So you can imagine my confusion when this happened [trigger warning for B-movie violence]:



I mean, even at that age I found it so ridiculous it was funny.  And of course there's all kinds of plot-holes which add to the ridiculousness.  But I think it was ten minutes into the movie when we all realized that Daddy Grandeur had made a mistake.

And now, thinking back on it, I'm wondering about DaddyGrandeur's error in movie rental.  I mean, just look at the cover:


Chillin' and killin'?

That's some awesome family-friendly entertainment!  Oh well.  Turns out this version is even more funny than the one that was actually trying to be funny.  And it's one more thing we can tease DaddyGrandeur about.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fuzz Therapy



Well, it's Wednesday again.  Which means you get your fuzzy-goodness.  I'm glad to report that Princess has been extra cuddly lately, ambushing my lap before I've even settled myself on the couch; however, this may have something to do with how fucking cold we both are.  I welcome the affection and the extra warmth, though I could do without the warning bites.  I mean, she's on my damn lap--I should be able to pet her.  Her use of my body as furniture ain't free.  And it is more than a little annoying that she insists on claiming my lap when I'm busy--like how she wanted to sit on my lap when it was already occupied by the afghan I was trying to finish.  I had to finish the last row with it pinned under her cute ass.

Well, enjoy the rest of your Wednesday everyone.  Friday will be here soon--I am excited too because I actually have a real weekend.  For a brief moment it will seem as if I have a normal job.  Retail just sucks so bad this time of year.  My demand for fuzz is increasing.

Responses from Target and McDonald's

You may remember my recent posts on Target calling the police on a nursing mother and the discrimination of a transgender woman at McDonald's when she applied for a job.  I sent my angry emails, and thought I would share the responses I got.
The following is the response from Target:

Dear [FilthyGrandeur],
As a family-oriented retailer, Target has a long-standing practice that supports breastfeeding in our stores.
Target has a long-standing corporate policy that supports breastfeeding in our stores. Guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable. Additionally, we support the use of fitting rooms for women who wish to breastfeed their babies, even if others are waiting to use the fitting rooms.
We regret that the situation escalated and have apologized to the guest for her experience. To ensure nursing mothers feel welcome in our stores we are reinforcing our breastfeeding policy with our team in all 1,744 storesacross the country.
At Target, we work hard to provide you with an enjoyable shoppingexperience. If you ever have concerns during your visit, please visit the Guest Service Desk and ask to speak to the Guest Service Team Leader. They'll make every attempt to resolve the issue while you're in the store.
We appreciate the opportunity to share this information with you.
Sincerely,
Garry
And the following is the response from McDonald's:

Hello [FilthyGrandeur]:
Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's and for giving us an opportunity to provide you with the following information.
Please know that McDonald's has a strict policy prohibiting any form of discrimination or harassment in hiring, termination, or any other aspect of employment in the organization. We require all employees to comply with local, state and federal employment laws.
Upon learning about this matter, the restaurant investigated the claims to gather the facts, and action was taken consistent with their employment policies.The behavior of the individual in question is not reflective of McDonald's employment policies.
Further, this individual acted outside the scope of his authority and was not responsible for hiring. The individual in question is no longer employed by the restaurant.
Again, thank you for contacting McDonald's.
Megan
McDonald's Customer Response Center
In regards to the Target situation, I work for Target.  I have not heard this "reinforcement" at my store.  I don't know.  Maybe I missed it.  But one would think that if this was really something that Target wished to reinforce, they would have made sure that every employee is made aware of Target's policies.  But that's just me.

Every "guest" should be allowed to breastfeed in the store without being made uncomfortable--except that the discomfort of one employee was apparently more important than the concern for the breastfeeding mother--she endured unnecessary discomfort and embarrassment when the police arrived.  But, you know.  It "escalated."  Or something.

As for the McDonald's response, I'm glad to know that the manager has been fired.  However, I find it all kinds of interesting that the response doesn't mention the trans woman who was the victim of the discrimination (and harassment--let's not forget the voicemail!).  I mean, yeah, it's great that the asshole was fired, and that there are laws and policies which McDonald's adheres to, but that doesn't mean a whole lot to the person who nonetheless had to face the hate and transphobia when applying for a job.  It still happened.

McDonald's and Target can invoke and cite their precious policies all they want, but these events occurred to actual people with actual lives and actual feelings, and sometimes policies don't mean a damn thing if the employees don't know about them.

Now, I realize that these companies cannot possibly guarantee that every one of their employees won't act like asshats at some point or other.  But I guess I'm still expecting more.

I am impressed that I got responses at all, but without substantial actions (or even a mention of the victims in either situation) it's just a lot of nonsense about vague and apparently magical policies.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy filthy birthday to me!



So today I am 24! I give MommyGrandeur a lot of credit for having a baby so close to xmas, although I hope I provided a good enough reason to excuse her from having to shop (though she was still married to "weekend" dad, so I doubt it).

I celebrated with some friends on Saturday, so tonight I'm taking it easy (I really don't need to keep reacquainting myself with the toilet anyway).  

As for the limited amount of postings, I apologize.  I've been distracted again with wedding plans, xmas shopping, and work.  But I haven't abandoned the blogging world.

Time to go wrap presents in the Batman wrapping paper I picked out (hey, everyone's just lucky I couldn't find Spongebob.  And it's better than the newspaper I've been using previously).  Enjoy a beer in my honor!  :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fuzz Therapy

Since today's a rotten winter day (at least here in the Midwest, thanks stupid snowstorm!), here's Princess to help you keep warm toasty thoughts:




I want the warm now!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Transgender woman denied McDonald's job; anti-gay slur used

This is just appalling:

Seventeen-year-old Zikerria Bellamy applied online for a position as a shift manager or crew leader at an Orlando McDonald's. When she went in for the interview on July 28, Bellamy says a manager forced her to check a box indicating her gender.
[...]
She said she was told she would not be granted an interview and received an angry, hateful voicemail from the manager later in the day.
"You went to [indistinguishable] McDonald's today," the message says. "It doesn't matter how many times you go down there. You will not get hired. We do not hire faggots. You lied to me. You told me you was a woman. And then you lied to me. You told me you were seventeen. I can't believe you. You're a lying brother. How could you ever lie to me?"
How is it any business of that man's?  This woman is presenting and identifies as a women, therefore she is a woman.  His calling her a man and using an anti-gay slur is unutterably disrespectful.  He had no business leaving her a hateful message on her voicemail.  So add harassment to the strikes against this guy.  


Given that this is not the first time a McDonald's employee has discriminated against potential employees, or customers.  You would think that McDonald's would do something about the bigots they employ so that this discrimination does not continue to happen.  


You can fill out this form to let them know that gender discrimination is against the law, and it's unacceptable for McDonald's to condone this bigotry from their employees.  


I certainly hope this man is no longer employed there, but I might be hoping for too much here.


H/T sexgenderbody via Twitter

Filthy note

Okay, I've got a new template up.  Basically I was having major coding issues with the previous one, so I've simplified the look here.

Hopefully this change makes it easier for me to post (especially since with the previous template I was spending more time trying to override default settings, especially in regards to text color).  And hopefully it makes it easier on the eyes.  I want my readership to have comfortable access to this blog without adding to the risk of eye fatigue.

I am open to hearing any feedback, either in the comments or by email, but unless you have major concerns just know I probably won't change anything.  I'm really sick of fixing html codes, particularly because I'm not very good at it.  As long as "o filthy grandeur!" looks decent and serves its basic function to hold my rants, I'm happy.

Update: Okay, so I scrapped the yellowy background for a simpler (and hopefully easy on the eyes) white background with flowers.  The flowers will be referred to as "evil" to continue to appease Mr. Baudelaire.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Target calls police on nursing mother

I am very ashamed to say I work for Target right now:

HARPER WOODS, Mich. (myFOXDetroit.com) - Jose and Mary Martinez visited a Target store in Harper Woods on Sunday. The mother says she started breast-feeding her child, security said it was illegal, they disagreed, and then the cops were called.
She's a mother of three. The youngest, her four-week-old girl, Raka. Breast-feeding is a daily part of life whether at home or at the store. That's why Mary Martinez was surprised to be stopped at the Target store. She and her husband told this by security: "He said, 'It's against the law. You have to go,'" said Jose Martinez.
Jose, a Detroit police officer, knew it isn't against the law even in the electronics aisle at Target. The couple say it wasn't crowded in that section at the time.
[...]
FOX 2 contacted Target's corporate headquarters. They tell us they allow mothers to breast-feed in their stores. But, "This specific situation escalated to a point where we were concerned for the safety of our guests, so law enforcement was called. We regret the incident in our store and will continue to provide a shopping environment that respects the needs of all guests, including nursing mothers."
"Forcing me out of the store. Two security guards, the manager or team leader, two officers, they just made a spectacle and a scene. I feel like I can't go to that specific Target anymore," Mary Martinez said.
In addition to talking with the corporate management at Target, we spoke to the manager of the Harper Woods store. She says breast-feeding is certainly not discouraged inside of her store.
I wonder if the "concern" for the safety of the other guests had anything to do with the couple's ethnicity.

You can email your complaint using this form. I think Target needs to remind it's employees that it's not illegal for mothers to nurse in public, and shaming their customers is absolutely unacceptable.

Lazy Sunday



Hosted by the Canadian geese who decided to use the park across the street for a pit-stop.

Morning all! I'm up earlier than normal for a Sunday, mostly due to the return of my seasonal sore-throats (and unfortunately the humidifier isn't helping).

Here are your weekly links:

Romance and sexuality in Harry Potter: this comes highly recommended.  It's the best analysis of the Harry Potter relationships I have seen.  It discusses gender roles, the notion of "true love," the unimportance of female roles (unless it pertains to motherhood), etc.

Plus Size Glamour Models, But Who's Missing?  Yes the women are all larger than your "standard" model, but they still fail to represent the variety of women's bodies that actually exist.  And including only one Black is not a good attempt at inclusion.

Casting White Actors in Asian Roles: 1957 to Today:  Sadly, there's a long history of white-washing Asian roles in movies.

Plate Mail Bikini:  A great post about how World of Warcraft's battle attire isn't as gender-neutral as one might think (from Border House, a feminist gaming blog, which I highly recommend adding to your blogroll).

And, just for fun: New Moon in Lolcats.  I've read it nearly ten times and each times it's still hilarious.  This may also save you from wasting money on the movie.  You're welcome.






Saturday, December 5, 2009

Random late-night drunk post

So, a beer suddenly materialized in front of me, and I realized that I haven't had a random drunk post in a while.

There's not much going on.  So I'll brag about the birthday / anniversary / xmas present I got: my Kindle.  (FYI: all three events are in the same month, so I sometimes pick one big thing to make it easier on the fiance).  My Kindle is amazing.  It will certainly increase my reading productivity, which means you can all expect more book reviews in the future since I have instant access to just about anything I want.  I mainly read Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I'll take suggestions in any genre, if you have them.

I am currently reading Sara Douglass' Druid's Sword, which is the last book in The Troy Game series, although the continuing rape apologism almost makes me want to delete it from my device.  I'm plowing through it though, and after that I won't have to read her books again (well, until the next book of the Darkglass Mountain series comes out, and then I'll complain about that).

And just so we're all clear: I'm bah-humbugging my way through this month.  I blame it on the retail job.  The little Christmas spirit I had was crushed when we put up Christmas displays before Halloween.  Although I'm looking forward to spending time with the fiance and his family, I can't say the same for my side, by which I mean my bio dad's side.  I'm sure there will be a post about this after the holidays.

I'll challenge myself to post some links I've been collecting when I drag myself out of bed.  In the meantime, hope everyone is having a great Saturday night.  Have a cold one on me. :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

News flash: Seth MacFarlane sucks

Now, before any of you fanatics of Seth MacFarlane's monopolization on the adult cartoon front wish to attack me or tell me I'm being too sensitive: this post is about why Seth MacFarlane sucks on a very basic level.  All isms aside (which include but are not limited to sexism, misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, slut-shaming, and fat-hating), MacFarlane's shows just suck.

Why, do you ask?

Because his comedy has just about run its course.  He's officially out of jokes, and you dudebros are hailing it as some extradinary work of comedy.

Um.  No.

If 10 minutes of a given MacFarlane show episode isn't being spent on some character engaging in mindless noise making  or repetitive fight scenes, then you can bet that those ten minutes are being used for some other exponentially obnoxious scene.

And even the "edgy" humor is nothing special.  Hahaha domestic violence. Oh man that racism sure is (not) fresh.  Fat people are totes gross?  Nice job utilizing gay stereotypes.  Note: there's absolutely nothing original about relying on stereotypes for jokes.  Can anyone say "cliche?"

It goes on.  So go ahead: tell me about how Seth MacFarlane is a comedic genius.  Just know that it's all bullshit.  You douchebags eat up the same fucking jokes (and not just on Family Guy--Cleveland show too--except with Black people!!) and have the temerity to say it's original?  In what way, exactly?

I am expecting a slew of MacFarlane defenders. Just know that this thread will be heavily moderated.  Just because I'm criticizing a beloved (HA!) t.v. show doesn't mean I'm giving bigots a free reign on what's posted here--and don't bother giving me that free speech bullshit, because that's not gonna fly here (hate speech  free speech).

P.S. Anyone else notice how lovers of Family Guy will often measure it's supposed awesomeness by comparing it to The Simpsons?  What the hell is up with that??

Dragon Age features "controversial" gay sex


Some of you may have already heard about the "controversy" (this term being used loosely, since I fail to see how the depiction of an actual sexuality can be controversial on the mere fact that it exists) of the new game Dragon Age: Origins, which features a human and an elf getting it on in a totally optional scene depicting homosexual sex:

The potential gay relationship happens with Zevran, an elf who was born in a brothel and rose to prominence as a thief/assassin. While the love scene sounds like something that could air on broadcast TV, I can't think of a role-playing game that has depicted gay male sexuality to this degree — Jade Empire panned away from its gay kiss, Bully's Jimmy Hopkins wasn't interested in much more than kissing and while Fable let gay couples marry, any sex to happen in that marriage was blacked out.
Unfortunately, Zevran hits a number of stereotypes as well. For one thing, Zevran isn't interested in anything more than casual sex while heterosexual romantic interests are direct about wanting a monogamous, long-term relationship. Meanwhile, isn't a gay elf the fantasy equivalent of a gay hairdresser?

While I'm excited about the inclusivity, I'm more than a little disturbed by this:

In another part of the game, your character can get a bit more adventurous:
During the course of the game, players are able to visit a brothel where a hostess asks what they are interested in. If players select "Surprise me," they can sometimes wind up face-to-face with a woman, a man, a transsexual, or an animal; sexual activity is never depicted during these brothel encounters.
Joy. I know the designers are just trying to keep the mood light, but considering that gay relationships are constantly being compared to sex with animals, maybe I'm just a little touchy about it. There is a Mabari War Dog that appears to be a member of the party, maybe I'll just assume that even fantasy pets need release now and then.

But while us progressives are hailing the inclusion of homosexuality (if not the accompanying stereotypes and option to also have sex with animals) as challenging the unfortunate standard of heterosexuality, some anti-gay bloggers (whom I refuse to link to, but you can check out more on this at Border House) are (surprise) furious about the inclusion of homosexual relationships.  To which I say "get the fuck over it."  This sounds a lot like the homophobic "I'm okay with people being gay, but I don't want to have to look at it."   And then we have homophobia as comedy, where Jimmy Kimmel (and his audience) thinks "gay elf sex" is totally giggle-worthy.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to commandeer Dragon Age from the fiance.

crossposted

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fuzz Therapy

Happy Wednesday everyone.  I'm going to keep this one short because my amazing new KINDLE came in the mail today, and we all know I need another distraction for my flighty brain.  Take it, Princess:


This was totally by accident.  And no, those aren't wedding magazines on the floor.  I swear.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving my American readership!

And happy plain ol' Thursday to everyone else.

So I have officially spent the morning cooking so that my fiance and I can begin eating in the early afternoon.  And we've been eating basically all day, waiting for a bit more room between each serving.  And while the pie cools and the fiance does the dishes like a wonderful partner returning the favor to the chef, I have sought out my favorite comedian's Thanksgiving clips (yeah, this is all you're getting from me--the itis is setting in, so enjoy!).




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fuzz Therapy

Happy Wednesday everyone (and a happy Thanksgiving eve to my American readers).  Some of you have noticed a new update on the comments pop-up, so as a reminder: the comments policy will be strictly enforced.  I welcome discussions and disagreements on any thread, provided they are respectful.  Silencing vitriol will not be tolerated, nor will any -ism, homophobia, transphobia, or misogyny.  And due to the large and confusing number of Anonymous comments, I will follow the example set by macon d and assign names to those comments.  Of my choosing.  So either pick a name or deal with whatever I dream up for you.

But back to the fuzz (sorry, no turkey hat for the Princess.  Maybe next year).


I will eat your soul.


I'd also like to remind you all that you can submit some of your own fuzziness to be featured here.  Please consult my submission guidelines, and send pictures to me at filthygrandeur@yahoo.com.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I wanna see you strut, Adam



My co-worker described to me Lambert's performance at last night's AMA (which I had not seen because...well, I am miserably uninformed I guess), mentioning his nails, make-up, and hair.  And, most importantly, that he kissed a man on stage.  My immediate and unquenchable response was "OMG, and I missed it??"

Now, I must interject a moment with a little personal info on myself: I identify as a straight woman.  That being said, I still find it extremely attractive when two men kiss (hell, if straight men find two women kissing hot, why can't I with the opposite?).  And I'm not shy about it.  In fact, I often blurt this out at any remote mention of homosexuality.  In a way I suppose I'm trying to help fight the heteronormative notions of sexuality, especially those concerning how the public views celebrities.  I mean, it's pretty damn shitty that straight people can be affectionate in public, but we expect homosexual people to keep it out of our sight.  How the hell is that fair?  But at the same time I recognize that I'm objectifying gay men in a way that straight men have objectified lesbians into a straight male fantasy.

At any rate, my co-worker reacted in much the same way as most people do when I divulge this bit of information (to date, the only exceptions I have known were the awesome friends I made in college--you all know who you are), and she said "You like that?"  She then went on "I don't mind that he's gay, but I don't need to see all that."

This is nothing new.  Straight people who purportedly have nothing against homosexuality--provided that they don't have to look at them being gay and whatnot--have been saying just that, and similar "I don't hate gay people but..." followed by "I don't want to have to look at it / they better not hit on me / etc." and other similar bigotries.  And I do think that they think they're not homophobic--heck, some of them love out and proud celebrities.  But I also think that the lack of self-examination regarding their own discomfort when confronted with homosexual people (specifically gay men) being unabashedly sexual with the people they're attracted to is quite evident of a heteronormative culture.  Yet rather than question this discomfort, we're more content to pressure homosexual men and women into not being "too gay" so us straights don't feel all icky.  Or something.

My co-worker also mentioned Adam Lambert's album cover, and his make-up, saying that she wished "he'd tone it down."  She said that it seems like after American Idol, he's just gotten more gay (I know I know--she's pretty damn ignorant, but she's willing to listen to my lectures, and she just inspired a post for me.  And what she's saying is not exclusive to just her, but our culture as well).  Which sort of ignores the fact that straight men have been wearing make-up long before Adam came to gay it up (ugh, I am so sorry I just had to type that), and also is presumptuous given that there are plenty of gay men that don't wear make-up.

I pointed out to her that Adam was pressured to keep his sexuality hushed while he was still a contestant on AI, and it's only now that his season (yes, his, damn it!) is over is he able to be the performer he wants to be.  And I find it pretty damn offensive that in the year 2009 we applaud a gay man for having such immense talent, and applaud straight male performers for objectifying women on stage, or being highly sexual with women on stage as if they're nothing more than props, but when we see the same gay man being sexual with anything but the prescripted woman, the homophobia comes out.

So, fellow straight people: you can't say you support gay rights, or gay people in general, or that you don't hate gay people, and simultaneously cite your own disgust as reason for them to not engage in sexual behavior befitting the sexuality in which they identify.  Get the fuck over it.

No one loses their damn mind as we're constantly bombarded with images of straight sexuality.  Open any magazine and you see ads, articles, an array of images that reinforce a heterosexual norm.  Heterosexual relationships are constantly viewed as standard, and anything else is deviant.  If we were to view Adam's very same performance and replace all male dancers with women, these people wouldn't even be complaining.

But I suppose there's something that straight people find threatening in Adam that they've not had to face before: not only is Adam Lambert gay, but his lyrics lack the ambiguity straight people might feel safer listening to.  We know the "you" in his songs is not a woman.  And any "body" that Adam sings about desiring isn't going to be that of a woman.  Hell, "Fever" begins "There he goes, My baby walks so slow," giving a definitive gender to his sung love-interests.  And as his album gets more attention, it will only be a matter of time before we start hearing the homophobic panic about a gay man openly singing about loving other gay men (omg, the horror!).

Adam Lambert is in a sudden, strange position right now.  It really just sucks that in order for him to be himself, he's going to be criticized by uncomfortable straight people.  And he's going to be blasted by critical gay men, too.  Oh, wait, he already is.  But gay or straight, I think it's pretty shitty that anyone is asking Adam Lambert to compromise himself so the rest of us can be comfortable with him.

But maybe if he makes them all uncomfortable enough, some of them will start to question why that is.

crossposted

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lazy Sunday


Hosted by Whoopi, who is apparently trying to flip herself over.

So I am running on approximately 2 hrs sleep. Enjoy your links.

"I'm for gay rights, but..." Some awesome and thoughtful responses to anti-gay sentiments.

In Defense of "Douchebag": "Douches, and the bags that reportedly accompany them, are terrible, no-good products. Insulting douches doesn’t insult women — the existence of douches insults women." Amen.

On Carrie Prejean: "So what difference does it make, in terms of Prejean's bigotry, that she has a sexual life of her own? None. Because denying fellow citizens equal rights is wrong no matter what.
She was wrong when she said it before anyone knew she had a "sex tape," and she's wrong now. The existence of a "sex tape" doesn't somehow make her more wrong."

What These People Need Is a Honky: this would be hilarious if it wasn't oh so true...

The Edward Cullen Underpants Conundrum: there is just so much win in this post that I cannot possibly choose a favorite quote.

James Cameron's Avatar: Watch Some -isms This December! Let's see: "noble savages," crip drag, blueface. Did Cameron leave anyone out?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Presentations of violence and gender in the Twilight novels

Note: While I do not give a full plot summary, some of the analysis may touch on topics that reveal the plot.  Also, I embrace "the author is dead" perspective, since I do not know anything about the author or her motives.  This analysis is strictly an analysis of the novel in question, and is not a criticism of the author, though I do criticize the author's writing, which I consider to be two different things.

I recently finished Stephanie Meyer's vampire romance, Twilight.  While it wasn't the most fantastic novel (certainly it took a lot of reading before reaching anything remotely climactic), it wasn't all that horrible.  But it wasn't all that good, either.  I didn't have high expectations for a romance novel as it was (admittedly I have read few, not having acquired a taste for the genre--yeah, studying literature makes you elitist.  I'm no exception).  This post will examine gender roles and gender presentations in the novel, as well as other problematic themes.


I. Gendering Monsters
In Twilight, we are introduced to the world of vampires.  From the moment we meet the Cullens, we are made aware through Bella's eyes that they are special:
I stared because their faces, so different, so similar, were all devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful (11).
Though all of the Cullens are stunningly attractive, there's a clear gendered difference in their appearances.  The men are large, and strong, while the women are small and graceful.  Though the women are also impeccably strong, they do not look it.  Several times Alice is referred to as being lithe and graceful in her movements:
Alice reached for Emmett's hand and they darted toward the oversized field; she ran like a gazelle.  He was nearly as graceful and just as fast--yet Emmett could never be compared to a gazelle.
[...]
[Edward's] run was more aggressive, a cheetah rather than a gazelle (192).
The males are not only less graceful, but more aggressive.  The exchange between Edward and James when James first catches Bella's scent is a prime example, complete with "feral snarl," "bared teeth," and "aggressive poses" (197).  The females, all of whom obviously feed at some point, are not depicted as so aggressive even though they are (presumably) just as strong and capable as the males.  Even Victoria, who in later books hunts Bella out of revenge (posing an obvious aggressive threat), is described in more traditionally feminine terms:
[Victoria] was wilder, her eyes shifting restlessly between the men facing her, and the loose grouping around me, her chaotic hair quivering in the slight breeze.  Her posture was distinctly feline (196).
We are presented with clear-cut male and female roles.  Within the Cullen family there even seems to be a hierarchy, with Carlisle being presented as the head of the vampire family.  And even Esme, who's presented as the mother figure for the Cullens, seems to be ranked below Edward, though this is perhaps a combination of gendered leadership and seniority, since Carlisle created Edward prior to creating Esme.  We also have the whole creation of vampires.  In the case of most of the Cullens, Carlisle created them, yet it seems that it's in a godlike sort of way rather than a full embrace of the father identity.


II.  Violence is romance
If I were to ever read this book again (I won't) I would count how many times Edward tells Bella he's dangerous, or outright threatens her.  It's deeply disturbing to me that the stalking, the death threats, and the constant mentioning of Bella as food is somehow supposed to be romantic.  I suppose this is just another product of our rape culture, where we inextricably link sex and violence, and the threat of violence is somehow supposed to be endearing.

There's also the vast power disparity, which is also a threat.  In the meadow, Edward demonstrates his strength as further evidence of why Bella should be frightened.  This creates an obvious illustration of Bella's fragility: in any given moment Edward could accidentally crush her.

Bella is willing to accept the constant threat of Edward's presence, and even goes so far as to blame herself for tempting Edward to kill her.  In Twilight Bella even goes well out of her way to not implicate Edward should he kill her--and she willingly walks to her possible death.

There are several instances where Edward is committing criminal acts: watching Bella sleep (breaking and entering), stalking her, obsessing over her to the point where he views her as a possession.  All of which is filtered to us through Bella, who finds this type of attention flattering and romantic.  These are highly problematic, once again driving the point that romance irrevocably involves fear and violence (or at least the constant threat of violence).

These issues are also evident in the later books: hyper aggression in the male characters, Bella's inferiority and apparently fragile nature, traditional gender presentations for the female characters.  Women are consistently presented as a hindrance to the male characters (think of Leah, who seems to be this unwanted burden on the rest of the male pack in Eclipse).

This is all worsened when we think of this in hindsight--yeah, it's great that he followed her all those times.  I mean, think of how she would have been smooshed or raped or murdered, and if he hadn't followed her he couldn't have rescued her.  At one point he even forces her into his car when she tells him to leave her alone.  But later, she resolves to tell him to leave her alone and "mean it this time" (71), which effectively negates any previous sincerity, which in turn adds to the stereotype of women not saying what they mean, which is often twisted into an argument of a gray area concerning consent.  Yeah, it's all connected, okay?


III. Likes
Before anyone accuses me of being an angry feminist who finds joy in nothing, I will admit to some likes:
  • Bella is an awkward and clumsy teenager.  I can relate to that!
  • It's a decent enough story.  Unfortunately Stephanie Meyer isn't a great enough writer to make it more than decent.  
  • Bella's brief feminist moment: in Twilight she mentions writing a paper on female gender roles in Shakespeare's plays.  I really really wish there was more of this more.
  • Oh, at the end she mentions something about needing equality in relationships.  Thank you!!!
  • I did find it hilariously absurd whenever Jacob warned Bella (or whoever) not to make him anger.  LOL! JACOB SMASH!
  • Bella's dad's name is Charlie (which is pretty similar to Charles, who stares at you every time you visit this site--yes, I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel here.  It's not a great literary work.  What the fuck do you want from me?)

Miscellaneous Complaints:
  • Jacob was likable up until he turned werewolf.  He was happy and sweet to Bella.  For a time I was rooting for him because Bella could have been with a great guy.  Then he got all hairy, aggressive, and just as possessive as Edward.  Which means she then had a choice between Douchebag 1 and Douchebag 2.  And Jacob was actually worse in my mind because it seemed like he thought he deserved Bella, like she owed him something, which is totally creepy.  And the forced kiss between her and Jacob clearly lacks consent (and her father laughed and was all cool with it.  You can bet if I went home with the same scenario, Mommy and DaddyGrandeur would be kicking someone's ass--hint: not mine).  
  • After Jacob's monsterization, so-to-speak, any description of Edward and Jacob is entwined in aggression.  Their issues with anger become so central to their characterizations, it's disturbing.  
  • Bella's hearing Edward's voice scolding her like some errant child in New Moon.  God, even when he's not there his hold over her is totally creepy.  And she willingly (again) put herself in danger just to hear that voice--and relished the imagined anger.
  • Stephanie Meyer's writing is...lacking.  Had she not tapped into a provocative premise (human girl falls in love with a vampire--sounds pretty sweet) she probably would never have had anything published.  Her writing is pretty substandard.  I mean, does she really have to have a character say the book's title in every fucking book?  If you have to have your characters explicitly state the name of the book, it kind of kills whatever metaphor you think you were going for (which speaks volumes of the anticipated thinking capacity of the intended audience).  Speaking of metaphors, did anyone else want to do a *headdesk* every time Bella mentioned the damn "hole" in her chest in New Moon?  Okay, we fucking get it--you got dumped, it hurts.  Think of some other way to describe that pain.  Fuck.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, that's all I got.  But here are some other fun Twilight links.  If anyone else has written or come across any other good Twilight links, analyses, open threads, etc., drop them in the comments.



Third Twilight Flick to be Guy-Friendly  (okay, not so fun in terms of it's failtastic assumption that women don't get into action and men can't find joy in romance, but every now and then we gotta add logs to our fires, right?).

Works Cited:

Meyer, Stephanie.  Twilight.  New York: Little Brown and Company, 2005.

crossposted

17 years ago today...

Mommy and DaddyGrandeur ran off to a judge in Ohio to get married immediately after my biological dad signed the divorce papers.  Later that day, when family caught wind of the marriage, a sudden celebration party was held at our house.  My brother and I were dropped off by bio-dad, whereupon a tumultuous "What the fuck?" resounded from his mouth as his gaze met the "Just married" sign displayed in the bay window.

Afterward, cake was served with kitty tracks marring the icing, as our large black cat--thrilled by the merry-making--had bounded onto the counter, only to land in the giant sheet of moist deliciousness.

Because my mom decided to divorce my dad, seeking the happiness she rightly deserves (and thus removing an angry and abusive man from our home) my brother and I got an awesome stepdad (jokingly referred to as "weekday dad").

So, to my parents: congratulations on your many years of happiness in your strong, hard-earned relationship.  And thank you for setting an example of how to love and respect your partner, even though you may not always agree on something.  Here's to many more years of happiness for you both.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fuzz Therapy

Sorry about the lack of posts (again).  I'm taking a sort of indefinite break from blogging (though some of you may see me commenting around the interwebs).  Anyway, enjoy your fuzz!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Take that Fox News

You know, I don't think I even have to add commentary on this one.

Update: Couldn't find the youtube clip, but hopefully everyone can view the Comedy Central clip.  I've also included Sean Hannity's half-assed apology at the end.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage
www.thedailyshow.com

Daily Show
Full Episodes

Political Humor
Health Care Crisis



I'm calling bullshit on that.  How does one "inadvertently" queue up two completely different video clips?

Lazy Sunday Wednesday

I realize I haven't been posting very often lately, including my usual link round-up, so here's some middle of the week links I've been collecting.  I'm posting these now because Sunday I'll be out of town away from the computer (will I ever survive???)

"What If My Mother Had Aborted Me?"  From the post: "But let’s deal with the attempt to get around women’s basic human rights by appealing to the egotistical assumption that your own birth was inevitable, and that the only thing that could have threatened this inevitable trot to you existing was the legality of abortion.  “How would you like it if your mother had an abortion?” ask the anti-choicers, without realizing that’s like asking, “How would you like it if the night you were conceived, your dad decided to go to bed early while your mom stayed up to watch Johnny Carson?”  The answer is, you wouldn’t be here to regret their selfish actions in the abortion or late show department."

Staggering Display of Privilege:  "I was going over the afternoon again with him when I realized; not only did this man's comment in class completely nullify my experiences as a woman, as a person, living in this world and its rape culture and its constant media portrayals of sex and violence and the very objectification I was talking about, it nullifies those of every other woman, of every other person, who HAS experienced it."  Yeah, because we women always need some smart man to tell it like it is he thinks it is.

Obama Refuses to Stand Up for Women: We're getting pretty sick of this shit already.

My Friend Called to Say She Was Raped:  I still cannot get this out of my head.  Heavy trigger warning.  Please offer Renee all the good thoughts you can.

Fuzz Therapy--Guest Fuzz

What's up everyone? It's Wednesday which means you are all treated to some fuzzy goodness!  Some of you may recall last month Mommy and DaddyGrandeur lost one of their doggies.  Well, a few days ago, MommyGrandeur says she went to a stranger's house and got Lucky (totally her words!):


This is not the first time MommyGrandeur got a dog from a stranger.  I swear I'm meeting the wrong kind of people.  No one gives me a doggy.



The really good news is that Precious and Rascal have already gotten attached to the newest member of the family.  Though Precious is not so willing to share her toys with him--MommyGrandeur reports she's started hiding them (I am begging for photographic evidence of this!).

More cute reasons for me to visit.  Now I just need some money for airfare. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Revisited: Review of Pixar's Up

To celebrate the release of Up on dvd, I am sharing my review of the movie, which was originally published here.

SPOILER ALERT

I saw Up yesterday, and, of course, loved it, as I knew I would. Everything about it--the fantastic premise of a man tying balloons to his house to travel to South America; the sense of adventure; the cute little chubby kid; the goofy dog who becomes pack-leader--EVERYTHING.

I felt the story of Carl, especially, was wonderfully portrayed. There are happy times with him and his wife Ellie, but there is the usual life's disappointments, such as having to put off a long-awaited trip to pay bills. And then there is the sad scene where they find out they're unable to have children. I was choking up when Carl bought the tickets to South America, but then Ellie dies before they can go on their trip. I found it quite touching that Carl was so devoted to her that he fulfills his promise no matter what. Carl's character is wonderfully portrayed, and we sympathize with him as he tries to maintain hold over his house and self--even as there is pressure to enter an old folks' home.

And then you have Russell, the adorable scout (I believe he's Asian--though thankfully not stereotypically Asian--yay!) who is driven to "assist" Carl to earn his final badge. He's also loving, determined to save Kevin, the bird, so she (yes, she) can get back to her babies (on a side note, I'm actually glad that when they realized that Kevin is in fact a "she" they didn't do that thing where they give her a feminine version of her name, or even change it to a "girl's" name). We also learn that Russell does not see his dad very often--getting the sense that he's one of those dad's that isn't very involved, and we see that Russell is dealing with his constant disappointment of his father, and missing even the simple things.

At the end of the movie, Carl and Russell both get what they've been missing in life, and they find it in each other.

Also, it was sweet when Carl realizes that Ellie's Adventure Book isn't blank in the section "Stuff I'm Going to Do," but is instead filled with pictures of her life with Carl.

I would like to point out that while I still love Pixar movies, I still wish we could have girls as main characters once in a while. I, as a girl, am able to relate to the males as they go on their adventures. I did not watch Finding Nemo or Up or Ratatouille in distraction because I was forced to relate to a male character, and so it is not a stretch of the mind AT ALL for boys and men to relate to girl characters. The story is not affected, but it at least gives us variety and equality in films, as well as illustrating that boys are not the only ones that can have adventures (that being said, I loved that Ellie was the more outspoken and adventurous person in Up; I only wish that she could have been there in more than just spirit, and while I don't think I would change anything in the movie, I would request that for future movies we don't use the death of the woman to uplift the male character (think of Up and Nemo).

While the scouts' ceremony is a touching scene that further illustrates the bond between Russell and Carl, I found it sort of odd that while Russell's mother is present, she was not standing up on stage with her son--she was in the audience. Just because all the kids are up there with dads is no reason to let your kid stand up there alone--he's not alone. Though I get that Russell has an absent father, they could have emphasized the relationship with the mother. Yeah, there's something missing, but he's not alone. I don't get along with my father and I don't talk to him much, but I wouldn't give up my relationship with my mother for anything.

Oh, and I have one more issue: all the dog characters that Muntz commanded were all male. They couldn't have made one female??? How hard would that have been? Just have a female voice for any one of the dogs--you don't even have to change the appearance of the dogs (since they're androgynous anyway).

I can't wait until this movie comes out on dvd. As with all other Pixar movies, I have to own it (well, except Cars, but I've got the others).

Friday, November 6, 2009

Because I just can't do anything else today...

I offer you a fluffy kitty to help the world suck a little less:




Princess is here for you...

My thoughts go out to the victims of these last two horrific days.  My heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones in the shootings.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The "odd" news category is so "clever" when it comes to "women"

It's quiz time!  What's wrong with this headline?  "Beefeaters 'harassed' lone female Tower guard"

If you guessed the "ironic" quotes, 10,000 points.

And what might this "harassment" be in the form of, you may ask?

Cameron, 44, who beat five men to secure the coveted position, has had her uniform defaced and nasty notes left in her locker, newspapers reported, while one suspect has been cautioned by police for defacing Cameron's entry in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
 "We can confirm that three Yeoman Warders are under investigation in response to allegations of harassment; two have been suspended," the Tower of London said in a statement.
Ooooohhhh.  You mean harassed.  Not "harassed."  (To the author of this shit article: come see me for a quick grammar and punctuation 101.) 

What the fuck.  I'm getting sick of women's issues (generally those including various forms of harassment, violence against women, murder of women, etc) being filed under the label of "odd." 

The first woman to hold a position formerly occupied exclusively by men is being harassed by two men she works with?  Oh yes, that is quite odd.  It's so odd, it's like it doesn't happen every fucking day to women.  It's like, this one British woman is one out of none, apparently, because workplace harassment by jealous men who lost to a more competent and qualified woman just never happens.  It's so rare in fact, it's just perfect for "Oddly Enough." 

Fuck you Yahoo!

Fuzz Therapy

Well, despite taking a sort of break (as usual, it seems) I cannot bring myself to deny you all teh fluffs (especially Craig Brimm, who won't admit to his fuzz-addiction just yet.  That's okay, buddy...we can wait). 


The mysteries of the sewing kit seemed to have captured Princess' attention as I toiled on my King Rat coat.


Alas, the allure of the colorful threads was evidently too much for her.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Does "lady stupid" exist?

Idiocracy was on tv last night.  I discovered it while channel surfing (I swear I don't normally watch Comedy Central a.k.a. Dudebro Central), and decided to watch it.  As I was watching, and admittedly laughing, it suddenly occurred to me: this movie is all about exaggerated dude stupid. 

Dude Stupid is a particular brand of stupid, that has recently been tapped and commodified in just about every fucking way possible.  What is dude stupid?  We've all seen dude stupid.  Think about every movie starring Seth Rogan.  It's Superbad.  It's the franchise that Judd Apatow is currently shitting out for a specific male demographic.  Dude stupid basically plays into the rise of the Man-Child:

The Man-Child's interests include smoking pot, drinking beer, watching porn and/or TV re-runs, pretending to be Gandalf and/or Darth Vader and/or other notable characters of sci-fi and fantasy film, playing video games, engaging in semi-dangerous XTreme sports such as smashing lightbulbs or setting things on fire, and generally just acting like a thirteen-year-old boy would if he had no curfews and no parents and no-one to stop him from being such an enormous loser all the time, my God.
Oh, and to dudes, women are only valuable if they put out and shut up.

Okay, so I'm watching Idiocracy, and it occurs to me that all the stupid things, or stupid things the stupid people in the future like, are all understood to be things that stupid, base men like.  To name a few: handjobs, explosions, groin-kicking, wrestling, monster trucks, guns, and boobies.  This movie stands as a prime example of dude stupid.  Indeed Mike Judge has created a reservoir of stupid made entirely out of dudebro edginess filled with sexism and misogyny, and "ironic" racism.  The women in Idiocracy (I counted two, did I miss one?) are only there to provide fodder for sexist jokes and comments, the main joke being that Rita is a prostitute, and Joe is naively unaware.

As I was watching this exaggerated glimpse into the exponentially stupid dude future, I wondered: is there a lady equivalent for dude stupid?  Is there anything in existence that appeals to the sometime desire for ladies to laugh at senseless things that don't rely on sexist stereotypes?  Or are only men afforded the luxury to be stupid, to say stupid things which entertain other men, and to do stupid activities?  What if Idiocracy featured a main character that was a woman, interacting with other women in a predominately female cast?  Why can't I picture these women engaging in anything other than what would appeal to patriarchal Man-Child-s?  Is there a lady stupid that isn't airheaded, ditsy, "blonde," etc.?  Anyone?

crossposted

Monday, November 2, 2009

Filthy note

Just so you're all aware, I'm going to be writing few posts this week--if any.  Now that Halloween is over, there are a lot of things that I have to catch up on.  Mainly, I've still got some wedding preparations (sure, I have till June, but I tend to procrastinate, so I have to give myself a large amount of time to accommodate this trait).

Also, I've been neglecting my creative writing (i.e. poetry and stories not related to this blog) that I do in my spare time because I devote so much time to reading other people's blogs, commenting, and posting on my own blog.

Something to know about me is that I tend to do things in waves, and all of that depends on what I feel like doing.  There are days when I cannot pull myself from the computer, glued to other blogs.  There are days when I have to sew something, or I search around for scrap yarn to crochet.  There are times when I have to sit down and scribble a note or story in my notebook.  Hell, there are times when I just need to lay on the couch and play Pokemon on my DS (go ahead, make fun.  I'll allow it).  I can only describe these sudden illogical urges as "itches."  This is also why I tend to have trouble doing things that I really should  be doing (like planning my wedding) because I give in too easily the things I feel like doing.

And right now, I don't feel like I have it in me to post here as frequently.  I just thought you all ought to know, in case you're wondering about my lack of discipline.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween (costume pics)

So we just got back from the Madison Freakfest, and since there's been a demand for pics, I give you pics:


 The above is me, in my King Rat make-up--or what I assume a man who lives in the sewer would look like.


I stuffed my coat pockets with squishy rats, and carried one around in my hands, swinging it by its tail.


We stopped at a bar first thing, because if I was going to deal with a bunch of drunk dudebros in public, I was going to need a beer.  And it seems that the mission to wear a non-sexy costume was totally accomplished: at one bar my fiance and I both headed for the bathrooms, and as I was headed into the ladies' room, some dude tapped me on my back and informed me "Dude, that's the women's room."  Part of me thought he should mind his own damn business, since I'm perfectly capable of finding my way to the "correct" piss room.  The other part laughed, because I was seen as the anti-sexy.  Thank you handmade slimy King Rat coat!

Oh, and here's a bonus fun pic (I know King Rat doesn't wear glasses, but I can't see more than three feet in front of me without them, so shut it):


I never did ask him though...I mean, there were like five guys dressed like Jesus at this thing.  I could've asked them.

I think it's important to note that I was wearing three shirts under my ankle length coat and I was still cold.  There were a few men walking around nearly naked, and of course most women were lacking in clothing due to some version of sexay!  I heard one young woman complaining that she was cold.  Big fucking surprise, huh?

And here is a list of offensive costumes I saw tonight:
  • 10-15 men dressed as stereotypical Mexicans.
  • Some guy wearing orange and blackface (I saw him from an upstairs bar window, so didn't get a chance to learn his intention, not that it matters).
  • Sexy Native Americans and Eskimos.
  • Retarded Where's Waldo (I really, really wish I were joking).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"How about a shave?"

Well, it took three hours, and I earned myself a nice blister, but the pumpkins are done: 


Sweeney Todd


Mrs. Lovett

Since there weren't any spectacular summer movies to honor this year, I figured I should immortalize my two favorite actors (and incidentally my two favorite movie characters) in pumpkin flesh.

Mrs. Lovett was really hard, since I was working in four shades instead of three, like Sweeney's, but I think they turned out okay.  I'll be better at it next year.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fuzz Therapy: Halloween edition

It's my favorite time of year, which means I have a lot of stuff to prepare before Halloween this Saturday.  My King Rat coat is half-finished, and tomorrow I'll be spending the day carving up my pumpkins.  I won't tell you what they are yet (in case I really screw them up), but don't worry: there will be pictures of those, too (unless I really screw them up).  So forgive my lack of posts this week.  I'm trying to savor the fall and Halloween before the snow comes.

And, for your viewing pleasure, I offer you Princess in a pumpkin hat (note: best $5 I ever spent):


This is my shame :(
But my joy!!


Ah, it cheers me so to make her pissed off.  Every cat owner knows what I'm talking about.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear my local news channel:

I'd like to discuss your take on popular Halloween costumes.  I can see why you'd say men favor the Batman and Michael Jackson costumes.  They're certainly popular.  But to say that women favor the sexy nurse and sexy barmaid completely misses the fact that there are no other kinds of costumes made available to women.  They are all some version of sexy

Yes, there are many women who love to dress sexy for Halloween, and that's perfectly fine, but don't generalize saying that women favor sexy costumes, because finding one that isn't sexy is damn near impossible.  And extremely frustrating to attempt.

I'm actually glad Halloween will be over soon.  Which fucking sucks because this is my favorite time of year. 

Sincerely,
A woman who will be decidedly not sexy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I got it!

I've decided on my totally non-sexy Halloween costume.  I'm going as King Rat.  Yes, King Rat from the novel King Rat by China Mieville (whose prose makes me swoon).  The anti-sexy.  I am dressing as a man (or rat--it's pretty ambiguous) who once led armies of rats, and I'm totally embracing the whole "sewer denizen" image.

My fiance and I were at a Halloween Express earlier today trying to pick out costumes.  I quickly became frustrated with the women's side.  Mostly because we're dressing up for a Halloween festival.  Which is outside.  At night.  In the fall.  So no, I'm not going as a stripper.  But even the men's costumes were pissing me off.  Why must they all be designed for dudebros???  WHY???

I was about to give up and say forget the whole thing.  I was not willing to settle for pirate or vampire, even of the non-sexy variety.  That's when I looked down at a plastic cauldron full of squishy rats.  And it hit me.

So I bought rats and make up.  Tomorrow I will head back to my favorite craft store for material for the trench coat (though I'll be taking liberties by shortening the coat--I still have to be money-conscious).  I'm pretty sure I can assemble it in time for Halloween.  I thought about breaking out the rat coat, but that was inspired by the novel as a whole, not by the actual character.

Anyway, I'm having more fun putting my own costume together than I was trying to buy some pre-made (and poor quality) costume.  I'll keep you all updated.