Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Farren Stanley and Sarah

The Thing To Do In Tuscaloosa Is
Dream about walking back and forth   
across the tracks twice a day.   

The cautionary arm   

lifting and lowering. The  
              bells in sunlight  

There is dumping a can   
of creamed corn into   
water to excite the fish, then   
baiting your hooks with corn.  

The stars are verbs               in the waters that watch them  

There is dipping, where too little will make 
you swallowgag and vomit. Where more 
is preferable. The man at the party 
demonstrates the right pinch and folding 
it under the lip. There are slivers of glass 
in dip, meant to slice open the  gums so 
the tobacco gets in faster. He says it is like 
a hundred cigarettes. You will,   
he says, drool.   

There is fishing  

the moon making little flowers in it,               names with long vowels.   

There is quitting   

There is something called noodling in which 
you let a catfish slide its cold mouth   
over your knuckles and grab.   

There is swimming   
and there are snakes.   

The magnolias will insist that they are also moons, if your definition is something bright  
            and gravitating. 
                                      -Farren Stanley
My lovely friend Sarah sent me that poem.  She really has an eye for beautiful words.  She also has a gift of her own in tangling words together in a way that make your heart go, "Yes!!"  I know one day I will own quite a few of her collections and, they will sit on my bookshelf next to the works of Bukowski, Atwood, The Dickman Brothers, and all the other great poets that we both admire.
How odd, me whispering a secret into Sarah's ear.  Wait, I always tell her my secrets!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Shit Girls Say and Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Okay, *I KNOW* that my video sharing has gone THROUGH THE ROOF... But, I can't help it!  Lately, there has been too much hilarious(ness?) online... and I HAVE TO (or so says the little voice in my head) share it with you guys!

Episode 2 of "Shit Girls Say" was uploaded.... and yes, I'm totally guilty of this and each time I watch it, I laugh a little bit harder!  You're welcome.
"Is that coffee?  I might get one."

On another girly note... 

Let's talk books.  In particular:
The synopsis reads:
"Pink and pretty or predatory and hardened, sexualized girlhood influences our daughters from infancy onward, telling them how a girl looks matters more than who she is.....  Does playing Cinderella shield girls from early sexualization- or prime them for it?  Could today's little princess becomes tomorrow's sexting teen?  And what if she does?  Would that make her in charge of her sexuality- or an unwitting captive to it?"
Being a mother to a 4 year old girl, this book instantly grabbed my attention as a must read.  I have to confess, I always wanted a little boy.  The thought of raising a mini-me, with all the hormones, insecurities, etc. seemed a daunting task in the least.  Raising a boy, on the other hand, seemed a much simpler task to endure.  When I found out I was in fact carrying a little girl, I cried.  I was instantly scared shitless.  After I got over my fear, and came to terms with having a little girl- I made the NO PINK rule.  I was having a little girl, but I would be damned if I was going to have bubblegum pink all over the house!

I registered for greens, yellows and blues.  Her nursery with jungle theme, in "boys" colors.  I bought nothing pink from her.  Everything pink came from people who did not respect my hormones wishes.

Then, boom!  A beautiful, healthy, blue eyed, baby girl was born.  And, I was in love.  Couldn't have pictured it any other way.  A daughter was my destiny.  I eventually began to embrace pink.  She looked so "cute" in it!  It really was a good color on her, with her fair skin and light features...

Around 3, she began to become very invested in the clothing she wore.  All she picked out was pink. All she wanted to wear were dresses, skirts and tights.  Suddenly, she became obsessed with dolls, playing house, cooking with play food, DISNEY PRINCESSES.  And, I got scared... I wanted to make her happy... But, I was afraid somewhere along the way I failed her.  I taught her gender roles and now she was never going to be my super cool hipster child.

Peggy Orenstein made me realize that as her mother, I still have the power to teach her that loving pink and being a strong woman can happen.  That just because she loves Sleeping Beauty does not mean that she believes that a man is going to be her saving grace.  It is up to me to teach her to value herself.  If I do not embrace the things that she likes, she may end up rebelling against me, or feeling ashamed for liking something that is "wrong."

Orenstein is a vivid writer, with a strong narrative and she brings up some incredibly interesting points.  I would definitely recommend this book to ALL PARENTS.  It's a quick read and will keep your attention.  It's very well written, can be serious while also providing laughs.

"I Am So Ronery"

Okay, I have to work in 45 minutes but I  had to post this video quickly.  (This will be a double post day, based on the goals I wrote yesterday.)

But, upon hearing about Kim Jong's death... I thought instantly of this:

I know, I'm a kind of an asshole.  (Okay, not kind of, a big one.)  But, it's funnnnnnnnnny (in a sick way.)  It somewhat reminds of when I posted this when I heard about Osama Bin Laden.

Okay, that is all for now.  See you guys later! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sexual Grammar

This is a day and age where texting is a huge part of communication... Nothing turns me off more than when a guy will send you a text along the lines of:

"Your great.  I wish I could be their."

Okay, I don't encounter this often... But, whatever.  My friends do, and I'm just like: "REALLY!?!?  You are going to talk to this silly man!?"

I'm more of a:

Basically, this is the best advice I can give to all the freshly turned 21 year old girls I work with about guys...
Source: via Azia on Pinterest

Because... lets be real:
Source: via Azia on Pinterest

We all know I'm right.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Interpreting The Twilight Saga as a Tragedy

I know, I know... There are a million other things I could be writing about instead of posting someone else's interpretation of Twilight as a Tragedy.  I can't help myself.

Browsing Reddit (again!?) I came across this lamely written cartoon expressing that Disney (which should've been Pixar) wrote a better love story in 8 minutes with the movie "Up" than Stephenie Mayer (which should've been spelled Meyer) wrote throughout the entire Twilight Saga.

Anyhoots... Someone made the typical comment that all Twilight did was teach girls to have a boyfriend.  (Quite the original sentiment!) And someone posted this in response, and I thought it was an AWESOME interpretation:

While I agree that that is the most commonly accepted interpretation, I think there are alternatives.
Let's put problems with spelling, grammar, narrative flow, plot structure, etc. aside and just look at the story and, in particular, the character arc of Bella Swan.
 At the beginning of the story, she is moving from Arizona to Washington on her own volition - she has decided to give her mother and her step-father some time and space and to spend some time with her father.  At this point in the story, she is, admittedly, a bit of a Mary Sue, but an endearing one.  She is sensitive to the needs of others (moves to Forks, WA for her Mom's sake, helps her Dad around the house, is understanding and tries to give the benefit of the doubt even when the other students are somewhat cruel to her when she first arrives), clumsy, out-of-sorts, and a little insecure.  She's not a girly-girl or a cheerleader type, doesn't get caught up in the typical sorts of high school behavior, and in general functions as an independent person.
It's worth noting that if Tyler's van had smashed her, she would have (at that point) died as a fairly well-rounded, empathetic individual.  We certainly wouldn't say she died in need of redemption, at any rate. 
Instead, Edward 'saves' her - and this supernatural 'salvation' marks the beginning of a journey that ultimately destroys her. 
As she gets more entangled with Edward, she becomes less and less independent, more and more selfish.  She is accepting of his abusive behavior (stalking her on trips with her friends, removing parts from her car so that she can't go see Jacob, creeping into her window at night, emotional manipulation) to the point that when he completely abandons her (walking out on the trust and commitment they've built together, in spite of having vowed to remain with her no matter what), she is willing to take him back.  Edward is clearly entirely morally bankrupt.
Her father, Charlie Swan, is sort of the Jimminy Cricket of the story.  His intuition is a proxy for the reader's intuition, and he's generally right.  He doesn't like Edward, because he can sense the truth - not that Edward is a vampire, that doesn't matter in particular - but that Edward is devoid of anything approximating a 'soul' (for those strict secularists, you could just say Charlie can see that Edward is a terrible person).
Bella is warned by numerous people and events throughout the course of the story that she is actively pursuing her own destruction - but she's so dependent on Edward and caught up in the idea of the romance that she refuses to see the situation for what it is.  Charlie tells her Edward is bad news.  Edward tells her that he believes he is damned, and devoid of a soul.  He further tells her that making her like him is the most selfish thing he will ever do.  Jacob warns her numerous times that Edward is a threat to her life and well-being.  She even has examples of other women who have become involved with monsters - Emily Young bears severe and permanent facial disfigurement due to her entanglement with Sam Uley.
Her downward spiral continues when, in New Moon, she turns around and treats her father precisely as Edward has treated her - abandoning him after suffering an obvious and extended severe bout of depression, leaving him to worry that she is dead for several days.  She had been emotionally absent for a period of months before that anyhow.  Charlie Swan is traumatized by this event, and never quite recovers thereafter.  (He is continuously suspicious of nearly everyone Bella interacts with from that point on, worries about her frequently, and seems generally less happy.)
Her refusal to break her co dependence with Edward eventually leads them to selfishly endanger Carlisle's entire clan when the Volturi threaten (and then attempt) to wipe them out for their interaction with her - so she is at this point in the story willing to put lives on both sides of the line (her family and the Cullens) at risk in favor of this abusive relationship.  Just like in a real abusive relationship, she is isolated or isolates herself from nearly everyone in her life - for their safety, she believes.
Ultimately, she marries Edward, submitting to mundane domesticity and an abusive relationship - voluntarily giving up her independence in favor of fulfilling Edward's idea of her appropriate role.  Her pregnancy - which in the real world would bind her to the father of her children irrevocably (if only through the legal system or through having to answer the kid's questions about their paternity) - completely destroys her body.  The baby drains her of every resource in her body (she becomes sickly, skeletal, and unhealthy) and ultimately snaps her spine during labor.
Her physical destruction tracks with and mirrors her moral and psychological destruction - both are the product of seeds that she allowed Edward to plant inside her through her failure to be independent.
Ultimately, to 'save' her (there's that salvation again), Edward shoots **venom** directly into her heart.  Let me repeat that for emphasis:  *The climax of the entire series is when Edward injects venom directly into Bella Swan's heart.*
Whatever wakes up in that room, it ain't Bella. 
I'll refer to the vampire as Bella Cullen, the human as Bella Swan.
Bella Swan was clumsy. 
Bella Cullen is the most graceful of all the vampires. 
Bella Swan was physically weak and frequently needed protection. 
Bella Cullen is among the strongest and most warlike of the vampires, standing essentially on her own against a clan that has ruled the world for centuries. 
Bella Swan was empathetic to the needs of others before she met Edward. 
Bella Cullen pursues two innocent human hikers through a forest, intent on ripping them to pieces to satisfy her blood lust - and stops **only** because Edward calls out to her.  Not because she perceives murder as wrong.  (Breaking Dawn, p.417).  She also attempts to kill Jacob and breaks Seth's shoulder because she didn't approve of what Jacob nicknamed her daughter (Breaking dawn, p.452).  She no longer has morals . 
Bella Swan was fairly modest and earnest. 
Bella Cullen uses her sex appeal to manipulate innocent people and extract information from them (pp.638 - 461) - she does so in order to get in touch with J. Jenks. 
In short, **her entire identity - everything that made her who she was - has been erased**.
This is powerfully underscored on p. 506, when Charlie Swan (remember, the conscience of the story) sees his own daughter for the first time after her transformation: 
"Charlie's blank expression told me how off my voice was.  His eyes zeroed in on me and widened. Shock.  **Disbelief.**  Pain.  **Loss.**  Fear.  **Anger.**  Suspicion.  More pain." 
He goes through the entire grieving process right there - because at that moment, he recognizes what so many readers don't - **Bella Swan is dead**. 
The most tragic part of the whole story is that this empty shell of a person - which at this point is nothing more than a frozen echo of Bella, twisted and destroyed as she is by her co dependence with Edward, fails to see what has happened to her.  She ends the story in denial - empty, annihilated, and having learned nothing. 
I would say that read in the proper light, it's a powerful cautionary tale about accepting traditional gender roles and conforming to expected societal norms.  Particularly with regard to male dominance (rather than partnership) in relationships.

Obviously, Twilight is a romance aimed at a young adult audience and, the underlying themes that the author of the interpretation suggests may not have been what Stephenie Meyer had in mind when she wrote the story. But, having read the Saga a few times over and being initially drawn to the character Bella Swan and later turned away from her- this is fascinating and explains many feelings I felt about such a now turned popular story.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gotye- Somebody That I Used To Know

Apparently I've been under a rock or something, because this song has been out for a few months... But, I heard this song on 89.3 The Current and I.CAN'T.STOP.LISTENING.TO.IT.


Please watch the video and listen to the entire song... it's one of those that keep getting better and better!

The song is kind of sad... but very true in what they are singing about.

I see it representing the viscious cycle of love... The aftermath once you have been hurt by someone.  The paint represents this very well.  At the beginning of the video, Gotye is naked, his skin uncovered by the paint.  He is singing about his relationship and as it unravels and we get to the chorus- he slowly becomes covered by this memory and it changes him.  His bitterness about how it ended and that she is now just someone he used to know is all over him.  Then, Kimbra enters and she is painted everywhere but her face, representing that he has almost engulfed her in all of his pain.  She blames herself sometimes for their fighting, but then realizes it's because he isn't over his previous relationship.  When she confronts him, he goes back to the chorus about the previous hurt, while hurting her in the process.  Kimbra's paint washes off and represents her walking away from the situation... Yet, Gotye is still covered in it.

Please watch the facial expressions while they sing... it is incredibly intense!

I hope you love this song as much as I do...

Here are the lyrics:
"Somebody That I Used To Know"
(feat. Kimbra)

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it's an ache I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I'll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
No you didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

Now you're just somebody that I used to know
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I'd done
And I don't wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
And you didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

(I used to know)
(Now you're just somebody that I used to know)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I admit it, I'm going to see it...

Friday morning at noon, I will be sitting in the movie theater with 4 of my female co-workers watching The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1.  (Cheese and rice, that's quite the title.)  

Saddly, I read all of the books.  Thankfully, I read them before the movies and all the twi-mania erupted.  Unfortunately, I used to be a moderator on the largest Facebook fan page for Twilight.  Luckily, I realized after Breaking Dawn was released that the books were crap and that Stephenie Meyer cannot write.

Breaking Dawn is single handedly the worst writing I have ever encountered.  It's a cluster fuck of plot lines that don't seem to intertwine, she introduces about 15 million new characters that have never been mentioned in prior stories... And she gets ya all amped up for something epic to happen, and BAM!  Not a fucking thing.

Twilight was a guilty pleasure.  I was a new mom when I started reading them.  All my friends were all hot and sexy 21 year old... Wearin' dem high heels, gettin' all fiiiiine, going out.  And, I was sitting at home in a maternity bra, covered in stretch marks and breast milk.  Basically I was sexy as FUCK.

Bella Swan, the leading lady in the story is chronically PLAIN.  She isn't the Belle of the Ball... She's a pale brunette, who prefers to spend her time reading Shakespeare and Bronte, she is a loner, likes to cook and doesn't spend a lot of time getting ready.  (Bella don't give a flyin' fuck what she looks like.)

And then all the sudden the sexy guy that all the girls are obsessed over LOVES HER!  And, to top it all off... He has a secret!  And he confides it in her!  Making her special too.. OMGRZ.

Yes, I totally got sucked in.  It was a guilty pleasure, much like how I still watch General Hospital.  (And now find myself tuning in every Wednesday night for Revenge.  PS- F you CMA Awards... I was all amped up to see what happened last week, and you took over the time slot.  Still haven't forgiven you.)

But, I saw flaws instantly.  Bella was incredibly weak.  Honestly, it gets out of control.  And, Edward.  Don't get me started on Edward.  He would do creepy shit like take apart her engine so she wouldn't drive to see her friend Jacob (who happens to be a werewolf, no big deal) on his reservation.  Their entire relationship is completely unhealthy and twisted.  Not to mention, Edward is one controlling S.O.B.

I guess that's why I was always hoping she would pick Jacob.  

God, I hate myself for reading these books.

But,  yes... I will go see that awful book turned film on Friday.  Slightly because I have a non-sexual girl crush on Kristen Stewart.  And, also.. because I think this will be the first time that a movie HAS to be better than the book.. Because holy shit that book was fucking awful.  Not to mention, I'm interested in Vampire Sex and the baby that's going to rip through Bella's stomach.  

Now, I came across some of the most ridiculous Twilight related shit I've ever seen... Enjoy these tragic mistakes:

This one cracks me up.. GET IT!?


Why would you do that to yourself?!  What I find most disturbing is not only the placement of these tattoos... But how POORLY done they are!

But, I am totally getting a Deathly Hallows tattoo... And you want to know why that is okay?  This is why: