Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pop Music Cures Everything

I am bogged down with studying for my history test today and I think some pop music is just what I need.


You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

KBR sinks lower and lower

I don’t even have the words:

KBR Says Jamie Leigh Jones Was Asking For It

To make matters even more appalling, KBR was recently awarded another multi-billion dollar contract. Nice to know our tax money going towards rapists is ok. (Where are those asshat tea baggers now?)

I really hope some of these people trip and fall on an ice pick.

Oklahoma fights hate crimes legislation

It looks like Oklahoma has decided to fight against the recently approved expansion of federal protection to people who are victimized because of their sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity. The reason this makes me so angry is because most people have no fucking clue what hate crimes really are and why they’re different from regular violent crimes.

There’s a common misconceptions that while some minorities are protected others aren't that is really prevalent, but the reality is hate crimes legislation doesn’t protect only some minorities (or even just minorities). It protects any person attacked for a reason covered by hates crime legislation (race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability). So, if a black man attacks a white man, simply because he is white, then it’s a hate crime (most people think of it the other way, but all races are covered). The difference between a standard violent crime and a hate crime is the intention (which does matter). While being attacked is horrible for anyone to experience, the reason hate crimes are considered worse is because the crime was done in order to terrorize an entire group of people.

So when a person says “all crimes are done out of hate” or some other vapid bullshit, they are not paying attention to the very real reality that hate crimes effect more then just the single person attacked.

Hate crimes legislation also gives the federal government the opportunity to prosecute crimes when local authorities are unwilling or unable to do so (because of budget constraints). This is very important in some places. Small towns may not have the budget to pay for the extra costs surrounding a hate crime and some towns may be less inclined to recognize the seriousness of a specific attack (hey “boys will be boys” right?).

Obviously this doesn’t mean that there are no reasonable objections to hates crime legislation. But to limit the conversation to only whether or not intent is worthy of a harsher sentence (which based on the different degrees of murder I would argue it is) is to ignore the large societal costs hate crimes cause. It also ignores the horrible reason why the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act came into being in the first place.

And it pisses me off to no end.

Telephone Makeup

I said before that I wasn't too fond of Lady Gaga's Telephone video but, as with most Lady Gaga videos, I was still pretty smitten with the makeup.

The makeup artist who did the makeup deserves major high fives and when I saw a video tutorial on youtube I just had to post it.

Doesn't this guy rock? (You can see a finished photo here.) I wish it was perfectly normal for us to walk around wearing this much makeup. I am definitely not one of those "natural makeup" people, but even this is a little much for me (I'm definitely doing this though).

It sure is pretty though.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Feminine Scale

Someone on fatshionista wrote a post about an art project she’s trying to do and it really got me thinking. I don’t want to post too much of the idea since it’s still in the works, but the basic premise is a scale that represents some of the stereotypes that make up the idea of femininity in our society.

Obviously there’s no such thing as a 100% feminine woman (or 0%), but I think the idea is pretty cool. (I’ve been trying to come up with my own project that deals with gender issues but I’ve been drawing blanks.) Coming up with a scale is actually a lot harder then it seems since a lot of stereotypes trade one trait for another, but since she was asking for help I decided to give it a go.

by Rétrofuturs (Hulk4598) / Stéphane Massa-Bidal

The stereotypes that stuck out the most to me are (in order from most feminine to least feminine):

Tease/Stuck up – probably seen as the most feminine but also resented because not sexually available
Whore/Slut – also feminine but sexual availability is seen as a negative
Emotional – seen as feminine but too much so, passive
Soccer Mom – seen as nurturing and feminine but not very sexual/attractive (otherwise the term “MILF” wouldn’t have been needed)
Frigid Bitch – too active/strong willed, not nurturing enough, seen as having little sexuality so is often hypersexualized
Dyke – seen as “masculine” but still retains some sexuality
Harpy/Shrew – no sexuality, strong willed/not passive, opinionated

I feel like I left out something really obvious though. I know each person is going to have a different opinion, but I tried to differentiate between stereotypes and insults (that’s why I didn’t include “cunt”). It’s actually pretty interesting to think about.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holi - Festival of Colors

Yesterday we went down to the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah to celebrate Holi. Even though we got there late and weren't able to buy any colored powder, it was still an amazing experience.

You wouldn't believe how many people were there and how nice everyone was. (The temple's website claims it's the largest festival in the U.S. and I can easily believe it.) It was one of those days where you feel connected to everyone and are happy just to be alive.

Plus they had llamas. Everything is better with llamas.

After the festival we headed over to the Lone Star Taqueria for some of the best tacos I've ever had.

Tacos, llamas, and everything coated in vibrant colors? Heaven.

-You can see more photos here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Some Odds and Ends

I seriously have nothing to talk about and I feel like the most boring person on the planet right now because of it (which is silly). I tend to get obsessed with specific things/hobbies only to abandon them a week later. Lately it's been books and cooking that have really snagged my attention so I've been pretty much tone deaf when it comes to politics.

Some odds and ends:

1. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown.

But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets.

Or are there?

Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence.

Which is impossible.

Prentisstown has been lying to him.

And now he's going to have to run...
I just finished this book last night, or more accurately this morning, and I freggin loved it. In the post My best reads of 2009 I said The Inferior was my favorite book of last year and The Knife of Never Letting Go is a lot like it. Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if The Knife of Never Letting Go makes my 2010 list. It's by far the best book I've read so far this year.

2. Tastespotting

Talk about major food porn. I've spent the better part of my morning drooling over all the deliciousness I hope to make. Major yum.

3. Dexter

It really is as good as everyone says. I'm almost finished with season one and I have no idea how I'm going to wait to watch season 2 (I'm the 27th hold at the library). The show is just brilliant. I wonder if the books are any good.

Tomorrow we are planning on going to a Holi festival though so I should have some interesting photos to share.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pinky Toast

-Cross-posted at Sunshine and Bones

I am completely smitten with the artist Pinky Toast on etsy. Her artwork is not only freggin amazing in every sense of the word, but her prints are also super affordable. The question isn't even should I buy something, but how am I to pick only one?

1. Atomic Moon Balloon-Whisper a Secret
Litte Heart Beat and Butterflies-Root Doll Girl
Mushroom Root doll-Fungus Friend Fairy Tale

I'm having a really hard time deciding. I freggin adore the redhead with the mushroom (if only it was made into a necklace), but I think I might get this pocket mirror. Decisions decisions.

You can find her shop here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health Care Basics

In case you're super confused by all the bullshit we've been bombarded with regarding health care, I thought I'd post links that sum up the matter quite well.


1. How the Health Care Overhaul Could Affect You

2. A look at the health care overhaul bill

The first link will break down how things will probably work out for if you have insurance now (through your work or if you buy it yourself) and how it might work out if you don't. The second link gives a more broad breakdown of how this bill will affect taxes, medicaid, the amount of people insured, etc.

So check them out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

How a Bill Becomes a Law

In celebration of a momentous occasion:

Two down. One to go. (Not counting reconciliation of course.) It may not be perfect but I'm still pretty stoked.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Week In Pictures

Actually my life is pretty boring so this is two weeks of pictures:

Ryan's sister, Kapri, had her baby last week and she's just precious. The day we drove out to see her was chilly but the sky was so pretty I just had to take a picture. I know it's a tad corny to take cloud pictures, but I couldn't help myself. This picture is actually straight out of the camera and I took it while we were driving home from Kapri's.

I can also mark "try sushi" off my bucket list finally. We went to the most amazing place last night and I can't believe I was such a pansy about the whole thing. If you think you don't like sushi you're wrong. You just have to find something that works for you.

Besides some randomness, there are also pictures of a puppet show we took Holden to and my new bike Ryan surprised me with. It's been a good two weeks. Now I'm off to pick up some more books I've been coveting and season one of Dexter. I have a feeling next week is gonna rock to.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Cover Songs I'm Loving

I did a post a little over a year ago about song covers I love and I've decided to do another one since I've heard some pretty interesting covers lately.

3 by Louis Cole and Genevieve Artadi (originally by Britney Spears):

This one's my favorite I've heard in a long time actually.

Jolene by The White Stripes (originally by Dolly Parton):

Viva La Vida by Lady GaGa (originally by Coldplay):

I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing by Pomplamoose (originally by Aerosmith):

Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat by Beck (originally by Bob Dylan):

Rusty Cage by Johnny Cage (originally by Soundgarden):

Everybody's Talkin by MIKA (originally by Harry Nilsson):

This is an old favorite but I still love it.

Bicycles and Witches

This year I am finally going to by myself a bike. Even though Utah only has about two months of nice weather throughout the year (and few of those days are actually near one another), I think it's be nice for us to be able to go one family bike rides when possible.

I feel like such a "mom" just typing that.

Anyhoo, when I saw the Liberty of London bike for Target I almost died. Unfortunately for me, everyone else seemed to love it too since it sold out right away.

The plus side to the bike selling out is that I don't have to slowly convince myself that $200 is a perfectly reasonable amount to spend on a bike I'll only occasionally ride. Plus I'd like to ride to school when possible, since it's just up the street, and I think I'd be too worried that someone would try to steal it.

So I think I'm gonna go with this bike from Walmart:

Isn't it cute? Plus it's only $84 dollars. The only down side is I have to order it online and have it shipped to the store. No instant gratification there. But maybe by time it arrives the fickle Utah weather will pick a season and stick with it for a while.

Now I just need a basket. (FYI: I totally just heard the Wicked Witch of the West's theme song from The Wizard of Oz in my head.)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alice au Printemps

Alice in Wonderland has been pretty huge lately due to Tim Burton’s movie and I absolutely love it. I love love love fairy tales, especially adaptations, and I’ll be a bit sad when all the hype dies down. I guess that’s just the way things work though.

Anyhoo, I know my posts have been random but I wanted to share this
series of window displays the French store Printemps put together with the help from a group of top designers. You'd think I'd have something more interesting to talka botu since I'm on spring break, but it is what it is.


-via Wickedhalo

Newswipe and Bloggers

I've spent the better part of today watching season two of Newswipe on youtube and I jsut had to share this clip:

While I think the entire segment is great, I posted this mainly for the "Have you say" segment that starts around 5:50. It's just so funny cause it's true.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Video About Immigration

I love this video. We were talking about immigration in my history class the other day and I'm always shocked at how blatantly ignorant some people are. Immigration is a wildly complicated issue and it pisses me off like you wouldn't believe when people limit the conversation to "they should learn English!"

This video was made by the youtube user GOODMagazine and I am in love with almost all of their videos. So don't be too surprised if more of them pop up from time to time.

-via Designer Daily

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Prom Picture

Britni recently wrote a post (how many posts do I start like this? sheesh) about her prom so I thought I'd post a picture from mine. I have no idea why, but it's kind of fun to reminisce about things like this.

I have no idea why this picture scanned so poorly, but here I am in all my senior prom glory:

Don't we look quite serious? I guess that's what happens when you photograph two closed-mouth smilers. I also wish my dress hadn't been so boring, but I got this one for $100 bucks online and I'm a cheap ass.

So that's it. I'm not gonna re-tell the story since my experience was almost identical to Brit's. I will say all the bullshit was worth putting up with for the memories though.

All Childbirth is Natural

Is anyone else bothered by the term "natural childbirth?" No? I'm just being overly sensitive? There is just something kind of pretentious about it in my opinion. It's like anti-choicers coining the phrase "pro-life." When it comes down to it everyone is pro-life (except maybe serial killers) and the label is essentially an empty term used in order to claim some moral superiority over everyone else.

I know this is a silly thing to get annoyed about but I can't help it. Every childbirth is natural. Yes "natural childbirth" is referring to a specific form of childbirth, but that phrase implies that other forms are "unnatural." They're not. And you know what else is natural? Women dying during childbirth. Cancer. Cavities. All kinds of horrible shit no one wants to deal with. (And I've sure as hell have never seen a hospital just sprout up out of the ground.) I realize that there are risks with going through labor without medication, but there are also risks involved with any childbirth. Instead of elevating one from of childbirth to the sacred circle of true "womanhood," we should be supporting all women no matter what their choices.

Excuse to post baby pictures of Holden:

I probably sound like I'm being bitchy huh? Maybe it's because I've had my birthing experience belittled by a man since I had an epidural. Maybe it's because I always had to explain why I wasn't able to breastfeed to the judgemental asshats who demonize formula. Anyone with kids know that every parenting decision seems to be up for criticism (even from total strangers). I don't understand why we do this to one another (since I think women are the worse when it comes to tearing down other women's parenting choices). No one person makes decisions that are any more valid than anyone else. Even with things I'm passionate about, like not baptizing children, I realize my decision is no more sacred or legit than anyone else's decision to do the opposite.

Also, my birthing experience was pretty fregging awesome. I wouldn't want to have to do it over again, but I couldn't have had a better experience. My delivery was fast and complication free. My nurse was polite and unobtrusive while my doctor was great at what he did. For once in my life I was also double covered by insurance and ended up not having to pay a dime. Any woman would be lucky to have the experience I had. "Unnatural" or not.

Giving birth and raising another human being is scary and difficult. Why add any judgement or condemnation, even if it's only implied, on top of that? It just seems petty to me.

-I want to clarify that this post is not about the health/medical decisions of individual people, but rather the social opinions surrounding these choices.