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...



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.
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.
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. ( - 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.


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.