Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Things I Like.

I'm having some writer's block this morning, which is not good for all those people hanging on my every word out there (ha!) or my comps (oops...) so here's a list of things I like. Just in case anyone was every curious.

1. Books.
1a. Books about characters I can relate to, even though sometimes I wish I wasn't anything like them. Examples include Bella Swan, Amber St. Clare, Lessa, Mary Lou, Stephanie Plum, and Meg Murry.
1b. You are definitely my friend if you know what books/series all of those characters come from.

2. Coffee.

3. TV Shows
3a. Obviously not all television. Current obsessions: True Blood, Weeds, Game of Thrones, Grey's Anatomy (although I may just be watching it because I feel like a traitor when I don't), and Girls. Gone but not forgotten obsessions: Buffy, Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, Queer as Folk, The O.C., Big Valley, Dr. Quinn.

4. My iphone. And my ipad. And my macbook. I'm a fangirl.

5. Shrimp.
5a. Actually, I like almost all seafood. Even sardines if I have to, and I've eaten anchovies and been okay with it. Except scallops, but that's only because I got food poisoning once.
5b. Although I'd probably still eat a scallop if I didn't know it was a scallop.

6. Sleeping in, which I rarely get to do.

7. Muddy Bears.
7a. If you don't know what these are, look them up.
7b. If you do know what these are, and you love me, send me some.

8. Making art.
8a. Especially photography.
8b. And charcoal.
8c. Oh wait, and I fucking love chalk paint.

I love a lot of other things too, but that could get tedious. 

Although looking back on my list, I'm clearly either an 80 year old woman with 12 cats OR a highly successful hipster. It could go either way at this point, I think. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

What the hell?

So I'm back from my AP adventure, which I'll try to write about this week. I'm totally exhausted from the reading, constant activity, and the glasses of wine I drank Saturday night, meaning that either I'm getting older than I thought or the high altitude really does mess with your body.

In anticipation of that, however, here is my "shit that pissed me off" picture for the day:

This is from the July issue of Cosmopolitan. I usually enjoy this magazine, at least moderately, but this is over the top. While learning many useless sex tricks and looking at $7000 shoes that I should buy to be "sexy" vs. "skanky" is pretty harmless, and I don't think Cosmo is generally anti-feminist (in fact, I think admitting that women really like sex is pretty damn feminist) but this is crazy. So you should redecorate your apartment so you won't "freak him out"?!?! Beyond the fact that that lucite coffee table is awful (although the couch and bookshelves are very nice...) you shouldn't tailor YOUR OWN HOME for some man who may or may not visit it. Should you have walls covered in pictures of yourself? Probably no. Should you display all your stuffed animals, or have your doll collection facing the bed with their scary, scary eyes? Only if you never want houseguests. But there's a huge difference between not freaking people out with your collections/grossness/inability to pick up Diet Coke cans and decorating in a certain style to please a hypothetical man. "You don't have to avoid rosy colors altogether, just choose the right shade" and "Too many personal tchotchkes will make him feel like he's invading your space..." and "keep it from feeling to feminine by..." are all maybe great decorating advice, but, unless you're living with someone, this is your space. Don't compromise, ladies! Blush and bashful (or blue or green or purple or black or whatever!) is totally a decorating scheme!

(I do not get paid by cosmo or anyone else. I just get really mad sometimes at the assumption that women are either man hungry crazies who will buy new furniture to please men or we're all insane cat ladies who decorate in trinkets and cat plates, a la Professor Umbridge. Please don't sue/shun/throw things at me.)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I love TV. I love the characters, I love getting caught up in a serialized show that follows intricate plotlines and people I care about. I get too attached to my TV shows.

Not reality shows, and certainly not every show. I like Dawson's Creek, but I'm not really attached to it. I certainly am not attached to Friends, or most sitcoms. 

A few shows, however, really catch me. Buffy, Supernatural, Roswell, Gilmore Girls, The OC (shut up), True Blood (which comes back on in just a few days!), Game of Thrones, and, now, one of the newest shows on HBO, Girls.

When I saw the posters for Girls and read initial articles about it, I was pretty skeptical. Just given the looks of the characters, I assumed it would be about quirky but sort of unattractive girls and their pretty roommates, and their quest for validation through relationships with men. The show has also gotten a lot of flack for being set in definitely diverse New York but only showing white characters in any major roles. I don't have a huge problem with this, since, while I live in a city where I am the minority, most of my friends and daily interactions with people are with people of that minority - it happens, even if it probably doesn't happen for everyone. I thought it would be quippy and silly like a lot of Sex and the City, which I like but don't really love.


Because I'm procrastinating on pretty much everything, I decided to watch the pilot and see what I thought. About 5 minutes in, I was totally hooked - hooked enough to be righteously pissed off at one of the main characters, Hannah, for being spoiled and stupid at the same time. That's when I knew that this was a show I had to watch, not only because I was emotionally hooked, but because I was now invested in seeing if this character could redeem herself. 

One of my favorite things about the show is that, while all of the characters have men in their lives, whether they want them there or not, they aren't shown as gaining all of their self-worth, merits, and specialness from these men (with the possible exception of Marnie, who I'll talk about in a second). Hannah is literally the most awkward character I've ever seen on TV, especially when combined with her sometimes sort-of on-again-off-again whatever he is Adam, but she stands up to him, and to other men, more often than not. Marnie, Hannah's best friend, is in a serious rut with her boyfriend Charlie, but, in one of my favorite scenes in the whole show, she tells him at a crucial moment *SPOILER ALERT* "I want to break up" and proceeds to mope and cry but also try to figure out who she is. Shoshanna is ridiculous, and Jessa is a free spirit, and they all get along (for the most part) and really depend on themselves and each other, which is incredibly refreshing. 

Also, unlike Sex and the City, where there were very clear archetypes, these women don't seem to be one-faceted or defined by only one thing. Whereas I could easily say that I'm a Carrie (with maybe a touch of Samantha), I can't say that I'm a Hannah, or a Jessa, or a Marnie, or a Shoshanna, because these characters, like me, are individuals rather than types. 

Do I think this show is for everyone? NO. It's graphic, and awkward, and covers a lot of things that make a lot of people a lot of uncomfortable. Do I think I'm going to keep watching it? YES. 

Look for a "favorite shit my favorite tv characters say" post coming soon!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

How is it June already?

Sorry about the sparse posting - I was sick, then I was on vacation. Now I'm back and facing a seemingly insurmountable stack of books for my comps.

Not a whole lot going on - summer is flying by too fast, and I don't seem to be motivated to do anything about it. The problem is, beyond dealing with the emotional blows of the last year, I'm really not interested in my degree anymore. I mean, I want my PhD, and I LOVE what I do...but I want to write my dissertation and be done with it. I don't want to write my comps, I don't want to do my prospectus, I don't want to jump through all of these hoops. I know I have to, and I realize 90% of getting through grad school is bureaucracy and stamina, but wow I'm ready just to get to a "real" point.

So I'm not dead, just lazy and unmotivated. Maybe June will be better?