Herpetology

It’s finally Friday, I’m free again

The More You Know
Homographs, homophones, heteronyms, polysemes, and capitonyms – do you know the difference?

Debbie Drake’s Easy Way to a Perfect Figure and Glowing Health (Drake, 1961). You know. Before I do my scissor kicks, I fix the hell out of my hair and makeup, then put on my perkiest bullet bra.

“OTL: Dark History” at ESPN.go. A very brief glimpse into the Santa Anita racetrack and our human capacity for cruelty.

A Clinical, Searing Memoir Of Abuse in Tiger, Tiger at NPR. Library hold, placed.

“Male-Centric Plots and the Oscars” at SocImages (and then, “There Are More Sites Of Oppression Than Gender”, Womanist Musing’s response)

Amelia Earhart’s plane found? (Answer: no)

I got into Noisettes this week. It’s only a matter of time before Ralph does. Oh, and I totally know which album he’ll like.

“Talking to Your Daughter About Beauty” at The Good Men Project. Not so much a fathering article as one anyone identifying as male should consider. This is a good 101 article; sadly, there is a dearth of them, and more in-depth stuff is nary to be found. I’d love to hear a male author weigh in on this topic; men are usually so silent at speaking out against beauty performance, instead of being powerful allies.

At NPN, photos of natural birth. How fucking awesome is this? Including the following sentence: “Acknowledging that many parents cannot or choose not to have this kind of birth, next week’s photos will show other birthing experiences.”. NPN, that is rock-tastic.

Society
“Dear Brian McFadden: I was damaged after being taken advantage of”. Brian McFadden’s song “Just as you are (Drunk at the Bar”) – and every pro-date rape song out there – suuuucks. This piece illustrates why, rather well. Particularly good is Nina Funnell’s answer to “Anonymous”. Kind of stunningly good.

“Ensuring the Male Gaze” at PostBourgie. Someone wrote something pretty damn smart on the potrayal of “reverse sexism”.

“Suicide” by Jeff Sabo. This piece and the commentariat is so far an incredibly illustrative discussion of youth depression and suicide (given it is written by a non-youth). The “It Gets Better” campaign irritates me for a few reasons, one of which the tone often seems to be: don’t kill yourself, your life hasn’t even started, just wait to grow up, we won’t help you NOW.

Parenting
“Taming the Tiger Mother” by Naomi Aldort at Life Learning Magazine. Nuanced article about the balance of control vs. neglect.

“So You Want to Unschool Your Child or Teen? Yes, you CAN do it!” by Laurie Couture. What can I say, today’s all about some 101!

Make/Craft
Salted Caramels & Homemade Cadbury Eggs, both from Instructables. My friend Sophiea and I made these caramels Monday and they were delicious!

“Building Cookies is Not SEW Easy!” at Sweet Sugar Belle

“Celebrate Women’s History Month by Picking Up a Needle and Thread” at CRAFT

The Incredible Edible Abacus at The Hokey Pokey Kitchen

“Home”, a French knot masterpiece.

Hilarity
Cat vs. Internet, a comic

“Open-Minded Man Grimly Realizes How Much Life He’s Wasted Listening To Bullshit” at The Onion

Herpetology, close to our hearts:
Herpetology

different outlooks different hopes

friday, friday, so good to me

Taking a break from my latest Netflix obsession (don’t worry, my obsessive-television watching is usually in short-lived bouts) I bring you: FRIDAY LINKAGE.

Film
Bollywood for Beginners Index at Filmi Girl

“Worst Movie of the ’00s?” at PostBourgie. Great piece and excellent comments.

There are no words for the excellence:

(thanks, Steev!)

Society
“Smiling Indians and Edward S. Curtis” by @NativeApprops. Definately check out the galleries, & the video.

“Guest Post: Reactions to the Case of Lara Logan” by Matt Cornell; also, Bill Maher makes LOUD NOISES about how U.S. is just SO MUCH BETTER TO WOMEN THAN MUSLIMS: “Bill Maher Pronounces Sexism in The Middle East, Worse Than In America” from womanist-musings. Finally, a succinct summation of some of those others who stand to lose with these narratives: Laura with “On Feminism, Religion, Superiority, Kyriarchy and Women’s Rights”.

“CNN buys into homeschooling stereotypes in child abduction case, blames victims”. Just add another nugget to the pile of deplorable turdburger that “Nancy Grace” (the show, not the person).

“Covering Up is a Feminist Issue” via PhD in Parenting, fertilefeminism; great video and a good 101!

“Class warfare” at globalsociology

“Just a Parent” by Ouyang Dan on Random Babble

Health
Planned Parenthood at PostBourgie

“Dear Michele Bachmann, et. al: Please Shut Up and Sit Down” at parenting.com

Gym Class by Michelle Allison. If there was a BINGO card about lots of awesome shit Kelly cares about (abolishing adultist thoughts, freeing children from forced institutionalism and segregation, HAES/FA etc.) I’d be shouting “LOTERIA!”

Parenting
“The best parenting book you will ever read.” – some thoughts on a fictional hero of mine – and many others’ (note: spoilers, link concerns the book To Kill A Mockingbird).

“Five Questions for Laurie A. Couture by E. Christopher Clark of Geek Force Five”. Ms. Couture is becoming one of the items in my feed reader I look forward to most. Her thoughts on the third question – C. – I’ve found most relevant as she’s discussing teens, and I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time around teens lately and I’m loving it!

Make/Craft
Awesome Godzilla Quilt, courtesy of the East Bay Heritage Quilters

“Coke Bottle Watering “Globes” at RadMegan

Hand-painted  B-movie purses? I had to write this lady a stalky email because. Come on. How awesome!

How to cook perfect rice – in a frying pan at Just Bento

Quotable
‎”Free children are not easily influenced; the absence of fear accounts for this phenomenon. Indeed, the absence of fear is the finest thing that can happen to a child.” ~ A. S. Neil

Random Awesomeness
Promtacular – ZOMG, who’s ready to dig up prom pictures? 100 to YES.

“Mad, Mod & Macabre – The Ronald Stein Collection” – I. Want. This.

different outlooks different hopes

Traffic Sign WIZARDRY

sunday-friday

I was all busy birthdaying things up and I didn’t throw out my Fridays. Awkward! Here they are now – and yes, I’ve tried to cut back a little from previous weeks:

Parenting
“Defending the Status Quo” by Jeff Sabo
Heck, I’ve probably posted this before. But I read it again and I can tell you – this post gives me the chills. I would like to have just ONE DAY where my choices and reality were status quo, instead of fringe or viewed as radical. ONE DAY where I wasn’t doing things differently than the mainstream. It would feel kind of incredible for other people to have to defend to me why they do the shit they do. Sure, it ain’t gonna happen. A girl can dream, can’t she?

I don’t know why, but I can’t be as frank as Jeff on some things. Even when I think he’s correct. Particularly:

“Instead of asking me to defend my decision to not spank my children, how about I ask you to defend the reason why you spank. Is spanking really the only way you can come up with to guide your children? Have you looked at other possibilities? Have you really considered what lies behind your need to have your children behave a certain way? Do you support hitting all people who behave contrary to your preference, or just the ones smaller and younger than you who have little or no standing in our justice system? How do you rationalize the difference between productive discipline and child abuse?” [emphasis mine]

And of course authoritative/authoritarian parenting doesn’t begin and end at spanking. But still. Yeah.

Sexuality
“Oprah Learns That People Don’t Grow ‘Gayer'”

Oprah impressed me here. She admitted she was wrong, in what was likely a bit of an embarrassing scenario – especially if one positions oneself as being “gay friendly” and having “good intentions”. I notice it seems that even staff who don’t personally know her well feel comfortable at being frank and openly disagreeing with her. If only all discussions on controversial issues went down like this!

By the way, I see red flags when someone says, “But I preferenced it by saying, ‘I don’t mean to cause offense!'” Reminds me of “with all due respect”:



Health
“The Big Fat Announcement: I’m Live-Blogging My Homebirth!” from The Feminist Breeder
I can’t even get across how much of a good idea this is. We need people to have a concept of birth as it can be with good prenatal care and without medicalization – and without the “ew gross!” shaming typically attendant when discussing a body that is female. I’ll totally be tuning into this!

Film
What have I watched this week? Not much, but (as I mentioned,) I did see Inception. It was fine. I like talking to self-proclaimed fans of this film. Because they cite the work as brilliant, then I ask, “OK, then what did you think ____ meant when ____?” and they usually don’t have a clue. But you know what, it’s OK to just like a film, even if you don’t know what the fuck is going on.

Last night I watched this (when will I learn?):

It was shite. Yeah, I say that, and that’s given I’ve got a soft spot for Duane Johnson (I dunno, the guy seems classy and sweet). In the film he looks bigger than ever – at times he resembled a huge grease-soaked slab of dyspeptic gristle.

Make/Craft
Today in the mail I received The Art of Manipulating Fabric, sent by my lady Karen. This book? Is simply incredible. And intimidating if, like me, one hopes to attempt a technique. But it’s gonna happen!

Today I’m making a few Indian-inspired recipes, sourced from allrecipes.com. Of all the somewhat-elaborate spice blends etc. etc. the most rewarding bit for me is making paneer (droooool).

Quotable
“I love how I am at the point in my life where I know that I can and am accomplishing everything on my own and I am for once doing it for me & [my daughter] and nobody else. Proving that I don’t need anybody…but I’m still lonely.” – from Facebook

Isn’t this the truth. Accomplishment, career, accolades, attagirls… they can’t keep loneliness at bay long, especially the existential type. Even family and friends can’t fill up (what some call) the God-shaped hole. And booze can only do it for a short period of time (trust me on this).

Random
TYPESTACHES

& *snicker*
Traffic Sign WIZARDRY

America is for Americans

freaky friday

Quotable
Something I wrote last Friday was quoted at both The Life Learning (Unschooling) Happiness Project and Life Learning Magazine. I love it when I’m quoted without an accompanying descriptor, hee. And in the case of Life Learning I mean look who else is quoted there. Come on. Who wouldn’t feel just a teensy bit awesome about that?

Culture & Pop Culture
“A Decade of Fear” from Information is Beautiful
I wonder how many people think of the toll that obsessive fear plays on our own and others’ psyche.

Kanye’s new video got leaked, so they’ll be much this-and-that discussion. Right out of the gate PostBourgie and Ta-Nehisi Coates came forth with pieces I enjoyed.

Refiguring the Passive Girl Toy at SocImages (Yeah, that’s me that made the submission. SocImages has the readers do a lot of their legwork, I think they should work harder on the linky-love, but then what do I know. I have a tiny site with small readership).
The first commenter asserts girls won’t like having their toys chopped up (so I guess this person doesn’t understand the concept of a child owning his/her own toys and getting to make that decision on their own?). Never fear, many readers (several of which who were once, you know, actual girls) chime in with how very much they DID like hacking their toys. Yarp.

Health
The new issue of Squat! is available. If you’d like you can read last summer’s first issue gratis, which features a piece by reader and friend Kat (“Unassisted Birth Story of David Elijah Kirkwood”).

From The Unnecesarean: “Nitrous Oxide for Laboring Women in the United States”. I am truly gobsmacked with what women face in the hospital, this form of low-risk and near instantaneous assistance (which has the additional advantage of being in the mama’s control) is not available.

Some perspective on the obese monsters who are Ruining America (and the concern trolls who love them), brought to us by Idzie’s tumblog and from Fat Heffalump.

Work
“A Plentitude of Work” by WendyPriesnitz: “unjobbing”, not just for SNAGs anymore.

Race
Re: Huckleberry Finn – I read easily a half dozen pieces this week. I enjoyed the summation “Voices: The Huckleberry Finn Controversy” at Racialicious, Renee’s perspective, and The N-word belongs in “Huckleberry Finn”, by Elon James in “This Week in Blackness” at Salon

This isn’t a case of political correctness. This is a case of being racially uncomfortable [ … ] America, in its constant obsession with being seen as “awesome,” will actively try to Photoshop its own historical portrait. (Um… is this last sentence pretty much the best sentence I’ve read about America? Yeah. I think so)

“Nickelodeon Gets Diversity Points, But Still Overlooks Race” at Colorlines

Also from Colorlines: “Two Young Girls Climb U.S./Mexico Border Fence in 18 Seconds”; please do watch both videos.

“Racists Totally Freak Out Over Muslim ‘Batman of Paris'”; this came to me via Ralph. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen (white) fanboys froth at the mouth regarding the God-given imperative to cast white actors in supposedly white-sourced roles. Guess how many mainstream Hollywood films have featured black superheroes as title character? No, guess. (I’d cite non-black poc statistics but I actually don’t know the answer on that one).

Make/Craft
Milk Punch at smittenkitten (h/t Paige). We made a non-booze version and it was delicious; Ralph especially enjoyed it.

The Soul Roll by Emeril. Made this two days ago and? Yeah. Delicious. Do make the sweet cornbread with this meal. It perfectly balances the NOMNOMNOMness.

Environment
“It is the main topic along the border. And the strange thing is it’s very hard to find anyone for it.” Speaking of the U.S./Mexican border fence, as the largest country-dividing construction since the Great Wall of China (h/t reader and friend Jeanne), the levels of suckery are boundless: “The US-Mexico Wall, it’s Borderlands, Wildlife, and People” from triggerpit. Beautiful, amazing photos and a wonderful and informative perspective in the text.

“Nobody disagrees on how this is affecting the environment, the only disagreement is how important the environment is in the overall discussion.” Ana Cordova, Ph, D, Institute for Northern Border Studies. US-Mexico

Tweet Of The Week
Yeah, I totally agree.

Random Awesomeness
America is for Americans

No matter how mean the internet is sometimes, mashups #FTW:

friday what goes along comes around

Short and sweet today as I’m including a must-listen interview (first link). Today’s links are on the serious/thinky side (a recent trend I guess) as opposed to gratuitous mustache pictures and a citation of my favorite “Mighty Boosh” sketches. I know, I know – it’s hardly fair on a Friday, right?

Super-Special Double-Awesomeness!
“on hold with atchka! and ellyn satter”
This? Should be required listening. For American human beings at least (and probably lots of others). In the same week we hear our First Lady claim childhood obesity is a matter of national security as we’re all so fat we roll around entirely helpless and can’t hold weapons in our sausage-fingers, it’s so wonderful to here the voice of reason, compassion, food enojoyment, rigorous science and analysis, social criticism, trust in and support of children, and health (yeah, remember that concern?)! Do listen to the interview – it’s about thirty six minutes long and it’s phenomenal!

Parenting/Living Together
“5 Ways To Work With Anger” by Tiff at freeplaylife
Tiff’s suggestions aren’t particularly ones that I’ve used or that appeal to me, but I like her concepts around a life lived with children (as opposed to one where most of their waking hours are out-of-home/in school) and I’ve often thought depictions of such lives are too few and far between. I have my own thoughts about anger and its use (maybe I’ll share them soon!) but I agree that the by-rote attempt to avoid or suppress anger is not a workable solution and provides a poor if not toxic environment for children.

Teaching Your Child To Share? at Authentic Parenting
The way grownups deal with “sharing” in young children is often fear-based, illogical, and counterproductive. This article is a great 101. I made a lot of mistakes re: sharing (and of course slip up still) but figured it out early enough. I love, love watching small children negotiate when adults don’t over-interfere.

Current Events
“What the Assange case says about rape in America”, Valenti at The Washington Post
“[T]this means we can’t stop at changing legislation. For true justice, there needs to be a cultural shift in the way Americans think about sex, consent and rape, so that when women come forward – whether they’re accusing a celebrity, a sports star or a neighbor – our immediate reaction isn’t to misconstrue or speculate about their motives, but to listen.”

Here’s some of what Sady Doyle has experienced since she’s been calling out rape apologism and speaking in anti-rape terms; particularly in this case on the response to Assange’s accusers and “progressive” reactions to the scourge of rape and sexual assault (as anyone who gives a damn and has self-educated on violence against women and children, when I say “here’s what so-and-so’s experienced”, you know it’s going to be awful – so, trigger warning for graphic violence threats, rape threats, and rape apologism).

Culture
“Doctors not immune from fat-bashing” from The Sydney Morning Herald
This is a very touching piece and a sober glimpse at how physicians treat one of their own, with, I believe, serious repercussions to the care given at large to patients. Unsubstantiated bias -> poor practices & poor public health. I learned a new word today, unrelated to this story: iatrogenic. Seems apt.

Two great posts from Renee at womanist-musings:

“No going into labour in public”
I don’t know Renee but I’ve read enough of her articles that I’ve established a “tone” of voice in my mind when I read. And that tone seems to often be one of aggravation, like in this article. As I’ve posted before, never has my body been “public property” as much as when I was pregnant. At the time I didn’t know enough of my own heart to protest this treatment. Too bad I don’t get a do-over. I love [snark] the idea that when a woman goes INTO LABOR, her whole consideration should be other people’s feelings – or that some dude standing nearby who doesn’t behave like a dick (and yay for that!), it’s all about him.

No Rules Rules For Jada and Will’s Kids
A discussion on respecting children vis-a-vis a celebrity couple’s public and private life; and what do you know, the commentstream isn’t even a mess of Fail!

Craft/Make
How-To: Stitched Gift Wrap & Tags at CRAFT
This is something even a sew-novice could do with very lovely results.

“A Green Christmas” at Natural Life Magazine
Links listing Christmas activities, if you’d like to buy less or at least attempt to bring the Trampling & Eating Everything You See rollercoaster to a slower clip

Eggnog recipe at Instructables
I made this last night. Yeah it has raw eggs, because I’m a bad-ass motherfucker!

Tweet of the Week
As pertains to cats, from Frank Conniff

Random
The movie was great; the score I downloaded, the soundtrack I need!

Most Extreme Animal Shirts from the archives at scienceblogs.com. They saved the best for last in my opinion.

LADYBUG PLAYS WITH SPRINKLES
I thought maybe I was stoned while watching this, but I watched it again and turns out, IT REALLY HAPPENED!

***

If you feel moved to comment below, please first read the epilogue in this post (and the comments, if you’re confused still). Thanks!

friday journey into hyper(link)space

History
“Faces of War” at Smithsonian.com
An incredibly sad, touching, and interesting story, including photos and video almost a century old.

Human Rights
“Spanking Traumatizes Children” by Laurie Couture
If there’s any link here I’m hoping my readers read, it’s this one. Whether you have a growing child, a grown child, or you do not have children, it is deeply relevant to our human condition. Moreover, it is probably the best piece I’ve read regarding spanking (and our concepts of “abuse” vs. socially-supported oppressive tactics on children). In fact it’s so good I’ve been intentionally curating this Friday links post to be more brief than usual, in hopes readers give this particular entry the consideration it deserves.

“Child Abuse is Not Funny & Cartoons Are Violent” by Wendy Priesnitz
I’d read many snarky opinions on the supposedly worthless venture of changing one’s Facebook profile pic to raise awareness of child abuse. Wendy’s piece is excellent, inclusive, intelligent, and doesn’t snark for snark’s sake. It’s perfect.

“The Disservice of a ‘Rigorous’ Education” by Steve Nelson at HuffPo
“At each end of the economic spectrum, we are pressing children harder and harder in the service of a ‘rigorous’ education […] Mariposa is not simply 37 pounds of raw material that wants a certain processing and finishing before she can be shipped to market and considered to have value. She is of value now, and if she dies of a disease or accident when she is 12 years old, the sixth year of her life will not as a result be robbed of meaning.”

Pop Culture
quick hit: how to meet ‘girls” IE respect the cock at Underbellie
I totally wrote this!

Soul-Sucking Science “Study” of the Week
“Pop psych mag cites evolutionary evidence for female fickleness”; Twisty has a great response to the recent Psychology Today piece “The Double Life of Women”. Still, as brilliant as Twisty is and as much as her words are like soothing nectar to my parched women’s lib pinko throat – I must offer a trigger warning with regards to the cited article: misogyny and rape-apologism; warnings also for unabashed oppositional sexism, mansplaining, and evo-psyche inanity.

“Here at Spinster HQ we were unable to locate any research on, for example, the fickleness of female flatworms. Maybe they like to sport around in spandex when it’s that time of the month, but published studies omit to mention it. So this guy, in his attempt to science-ize an enormously detrimental sexist stereotype, grossly mischaracterizes the scope of the planet’s animalian diversity to further his own anthrocentric worldview.”

Craft
Stick Weaving at Craft
Why is it I can picture so many of my crafty readers making some lovely stuff? I think this would be particularly pretty to have a group get together and adorn a tree thusly!

The Pocket Tissue Pack tutorial posted at Sew Mama Sew looked rather fun – quick, attractive, yes hardly a “must-have” needed item in one’s life but that’s okay too. Using two pieces of 6″ by 7″ fabric scraps is just my speed as, given how much I sew, I often have a lot of scraps. I donate many to a local charity shop at a low-income apartment complex, but I have a fair bit in my own supplies.

Food Dresses! ’nuff said.

Tweet of the Week
From @micwatt:
“I bet a duck could outrun me if I was chasing it, but I also think that if a duck was chasing me I could outrun the duck. Isn’t that wild?”

My brother explains: “It’s not just casually philosophical.  I think this is a very logical assumption.  It’s a psychology thing.  If you’re being chased by something you suspect wants to eat you, but they don’t really, you’ll try harder to escape than they will to catch. If you’re being chased by something you suspect wants to eat your soul, but they don’t really, you’ll try harder to escape than they will to catch and use their little bill to suck out your essence through your ear.”

Finally:

For those of us who celebrate this time of year, I wish you peace and joy. Well, I wish that for those who aren’t celebrating too. My family celebrates Christmas / yuletide. It’s a wonderful time of planning and lots of creating (less buying). I can’t post much of anything because of prying eyes. This picture should suffice!

Editor note: Lately after I put tonnes* of work into the Friday links it seems readers have been coming along and posting a brief (or not) completely- or mostly-argumentative point to just ONE aspect of ONE of the articles without even a friendly handshake or reference to points of agreement, or other links. No one’s getting spanked and it’s just a whiff of a trend I’ve observed. I don’t want to turn off the comments on my Friday link posts. So as a measure to prevent that, may I suggest that if there’s something about an article that sticks in your craw and the only thing you can think to write here is a rebuttal to a specific aspect of one of these many articles I did not write, you can post your points in a separate blogpost of your own (which I will happily link to) and/or comment at the source instead (you can send me your comment link and I’ll post it here too). I’d like to keep the conversation interesting here and less niggle-y.

* see, in the metric system. That means it’s even MORE work that you might be thinking!

friday link-sausage

Culture
“The Cliched Family in Television”; a demonstration that satire has never been out of style (“Cut, dammit, cut!”, hee).

“Would you feed your own kid the same food you donate to food pantries?” at spoonfedblog.net. Considering discussion of what the poor and working class “should” eat often contains a lot of orthorexic asshatery, I thought this was good article – and a good discussion featured in comments. P.S. I hate brown rice, having had to eat a LOT of it growing up.

“Class, Privilege and Black Friday” by Black Girl in Maine
“At the end of the day, we all want good food, a warm house, clothing, love and maybe even a few extras however we define those extras, for some it’s iGadgets, Kitchen-Aid mixers and so on…yet who are we to judge someone else’s desires? Yet our ability to have these things will depend in large part on where we sit on the socio-economic ladder and even a decision of whether or not to brave crowds on Black Friday versus shopping on Cyber Monday from the comforts of our home and or office will depend on what we have access to. Just some food from thought from a lifetime card carrying member of the working class.”

“Fat-com: is that a thing?” at What Tami Said
Tami is on-point, funny, and completely correct. It would be a small and lovely justice if television writers, producers, and executives would read her piece, hang their heads, apologize for their suck-itude – and do better.

“Hobbits Are White, But Should We Pretend Otherwise?” at PostBourgie
You know, I’m going to vote Yes, We Should, or rather that originally non-diverse works do not suffer from casting actors of color but there is a lot to gain in doing so; there are plenty of white male actors getting big bucks and the pick of scripts and it’s okay to level the playing field.

“Humpday Hate: The Anti-Christmas Carol.” also at PostBourgie; seriously, there are holiday songs that should have languished and died long ago.

Human Rights
Long overdue: a few articles on birth rape. The first is a great 101 sent in by reader Kat: “What Feminists Should Know About Birth Rape”. An excerpt:

“Even though most women are choosing to invite trained professionals to their births, they still have an expectation of respectful and kind treatment. Despite where women give birth and how many medical procedures they may choose in the process, all women deserve to make their own choices and control their own bodies during childbirth. Every woman has an expectation of kind treatment, of decision making power, and of her legal right to informed consent and refusal. When those expectations are not met and she is assaulted and violated, she has the right to call her experience whatever she thinks describes it accurately.”

The second is from The F-Word at the UK and delves a little deeper: “‘It’s not RAPE rape’” by Amity Reed. Excerpt:

“Claiming that birth rape is an inappropriate term and ridiculing or dismissing women who choose to use it is incredibly insulting to those who identify with it. Much like you wouldn’t tell a woman who says she was raped while on a date with a guy she liked that she is exaggerating, that he probably didn’t mean it, that it isn’t ‘real’ rape if she went with him willingly or flirted with him, nor should women who feel they were raped while giving birth be disbelieved or discredited. “ (What’s sad is of course, many DO excuse date and acquaintance rape as “not real rape”, but Amity is speaking to those who in general hold better views – except, apparently, when it comes to bio-moms.)

I wouldn’t call my first birth a “birth rape” (and it’s my prerogative what I call it, as it is for the women who do use that term) but it is definitely in that arena. I’d like to write more on the subject at some point.

Consumerism
I want three yards of this So. Very. Much.

“world’s smallest postal service: holiday 2010”; adorable!

Celebration
“Opening the Door to a Simpler, Greener, Healthier, Happier Holiday Season” by Wendy Priesnitz
If you celebrate a faith-tradition holiday or honor the season changes, this article is full of restorative thought and ideas on how to reclaim the time and activities that keep so many, so busy, every year.

Help
A very local artisan creamery is being subject to product-seizure- and regulations are being pushed that would continue to stress independent, small foodstuffs by what is likely unfair and unnecessary legislation. You can help the Estrella Farm here.

Fashion

“make it look like you’re always receding” LULZLULZ

Craft
Patterns by Figgys is having a 25% off sale from December 2nd through the 20th. Use the code PDF2010 at their big cartel shop. I’ve sewn with many of their patterns (and, full disclosure although most my readers already know this, am currently working at pattern testing for their upcoming book) and they are fabulous!

Heather at SwissArmyWife.net is offering one of my items in her giveaway; you have two more days to enter!

Random
My favorite tweet of the week.

MST3K melon, from the Department of Win

This just in: ONE OF THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE

And – finally – time for a little discussion. First, watch this: Journey – Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) (Official Music Video)Journey

And now, tell me, what’s YOUR favorite part of this classic video? I mean there’s so much to choose from. For me, it’s a tie between the pants (rumor is Journey had an magic EnTightening prototype) and the overly telegraphed emotive lipsync moves so drastic it would appear the vid director was not only appealing to hearing-challenged viewers but also those who’ve literally never experienced human emotion & don’t know how to identify it.

But that floating wall keyboard is pretty fucking awesome, too.

friday links

In the good news, we’re all doing very well thank you and enjoying health and harmony together. In the bad news, Ralph is working through our spending plan as I type and we might not get to have a Christmas (not really, but you probably know what I mean). In the good news, my husband is growing a beard. In the bad news, he’s so anxious about this money thing that ANY LITTLE COMMENT may cause him to shave. Please, if you see him, or Facebook him, say REALLY flattering things about his beard. We shall all reap the benefits as its full-throated red glory is bestowed upon us during our most dreary winter months…

Here’s more good news – for those who are unfortunate enough to be stuck in an office job today, hungover and dyspeptic from yesterday’s feast, or cowering in fear or disdain of Black Friday, or who’ve shopped until they’re wrecked – I bring you the Friday links you so desperately need to sink your teeth into.

Culture
“‘Privilege Denying Dude’ and the Fight for the Right to Snark” at ColorLines
“The Internet has carried over the ‘neutral’ we’ve always seen, meaning that if it’s online, it better appeal to straight white men before and above anyone else. A lot of us hate it. We find humor in other memes, but sometimes we see a misogynist or homophobic joke in the bunch… and we just scroll on past it. It’s disappointing how used to that we are.” [ emphasis mine, because: Oh Yes. ]

Anton Vowl wrote “Breeding hell” in response to Howard Flight’s remarks. Look familiar, USians? The UK terminology referring to the “underclass” may be different from ours but you and I recognize what the author is referencing: “a narrative in which the young and the poor can be dismissed as a mass of animals, as an underclass of scum. They are always set up against the ‘middle-classes’, aka the hardworking taxpaying middle classes, the people who do all the work and pay for all the doleites popping out kids and getting free houses on estates up and down the land […] It’s the dehumanising thing that seems so depressing – dehumanising a whole class of people. It’s the language of hatred. It’s the language of class war.”

“Today in Journalism: The Disabled” at FWD/Feminists with Disabilities
“This contributes to the de-humanization of disabled people. ‘The disabled’ aren’t people, they’re a big collective noun who can’t be reasoned with, can’t be talked to, can’t be considered – they’re just to be placated, and dealt with, and put out of our minds as quickly as possible in case they sue us.”

Family
“The Effects of Video Games: A guide for the science-based parent” at parentingscience.com
The concept that video games are “bad”, or at least anything more than a very occasional play with them is “bad”, is so culturally-supported many journalists will take one study and blow it up to epic conclusions. I often think those loudest about how “bad” video games inherently are, are those who either don’t particularly enjoy nor excel at them; or those who’ve lived a childhood of externally-imposed values/activities which reify this message.

“Jong Got It Wrong” from Wendy Priesnitz
Much of modern-day feminism has failed so many – those with disabilities, those non-white, poor, trans women, those marginalized, those without “careers”, babies and children, and anyone involved in what’s often named as “traditional women’s work” (hi!) but what would be more accurately described as necessary human work (much of it often still performed by women and underpaid, under-respected, etc). Today many modern feminists (along with the maintream) continue to throw children under the proverbial bus as well as those who are responsible for children’s care (usually, other women) and especially those who give a shit about how these things all go down. As usual, Wendy Priesnitz delivers a succinct and apt response to the recent Jong dust-up.

Feminism
“Pre-Photoshopped Playboy Models (Definitely NSFW)”
“…the message is clear: even after a genetic bounty, all-but-certain plastic surgery and dieting, good lighting, a pro-photographer, and dozens of shots, even the fantasy woman is not fantastic enough.” (You can follow links to the original Jezebel post if you want example after example of women’s bodies critiqued, objectified, and dissected).

Subway Flasher Gets More Than He Bargained For
This video deeply upset me. First I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – the courage of this woman. Then I felt sick for the times I’ve been in a similar position and felt too scared to do anything. On second watch I so admired this woman and wish I could find her to say, “Well done!”

Craft
“Rural Roads” by sillyboodilly. Beautiful work; check the rest of her postings as well!

Make
Mushroom tutorial by my friend Kit. Mushrooms are out like you wouldn’t believe! I have a wee parcel of wool felt heading my way to make up these cuties with the kiddos.

Live
“How To Read Articles About Health” by Dr. Alicia White

“18 Practical Habits for Living the Golden Rule” at Zen Habits

Quotable
“The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which; he simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.” – Buddha

Random
How did Alan Thicke land this sweet job, is what I want to know!

And finally:

My favorite tweet of the week.

Birds are like little people

if it’s friday, you should mess around on the inter-netz instead of working

Culture
“The Facebook Double (D) Standard on Obscenity”
This is just sort of amazing to ponder. What is really happening when we ban images of breastfeeding but promote any degree of (usually young, usually sexualized) cleavage? Breastfeeding is a recognized and protected “right” in many states – but not all! Breastfeeding it is under fire continually and, most importantly, people demonstrate an ignorance and vitriol toward women and their bodies that is staggering and sobering to behold. Women are still wrongfully arrested for breastfeeding, told they can’t breastfeed here or there or must cover up – even when the law does not support this (this in Washington State today, recognized as one of the more breastfeeding-friendly of our fifty – and by the way this conduct demonstrated by the Long Beach Head Start facility clearly violates Washington Law Against Discrimination), and maybe most tellingly everywhere the subject comes up we see viscous, untenable and shameful rhetoric heaped on the personhood of breastfeeding families – targeting the breastfeeding woman, of course (and on this, I refuse to link to the hate). My breastfeeding days are over but I feel deeply, deeply sad at how poorly our country and cultural framing is on what is a very pro-family, pro-baby, and pro-woman practice that should be regarded not as an enforced standard for every individual bio mom but as a protected and supported reproductive right.

“Grrl Vlog #4: Celebrity Weight Loss” by Reel Girls. Very good watching – take four minutes and DO IT. “OK I’m skinny now, but I’m also, like, nice, and sweet, and pretty, and refined.”

“When ‘Both Sides’ Aren’t Enough: Reporting on Weaver’s Blackface Pic” at Soc Images
I’ve often thought this before; the “obsession with [false] parity” (which often leads to “innocently neutral” articles that ignore historical context lived by those marginalized, thereby keeping privilege and oppression invisible). If anyone is in any doubt as to why blackface (and along the same vein and with some similarities, redface and yellowface…) is offensive, one can start the education at the excellent Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorablilia – particularly the “Caricature” treatments, Dr. Pilgrim’s many writings, and Question of the Month essays.

“When Teachers Highlight Gender, Kids Pick up Stereotypes” from Pennsylvania State University, and reported (of all places) at FoxNews.com. Main point: in a classroom setting, teachers don’t need to be actively spouting gender stereotypes to effectually promote them. I like the idea of using “child” and “friend” language over “boys and girls” language – very much.

If you run over a fat person and kill them, you won’t go to jail. I mean c’mon, they were going to keel over any minute now anyway since their veins pump gravy and stuff.

Twisty goes on sabbatical (boo hoo!), also links to Privilege-Denying Dude (yay!)

Domestic Industry
The grilled moussaka I made yesterday was delicious according to Ralph and (sort of) the kids, but I thought it was a total miss. So anyone who’s got a fail-proof moussaka recipe, lay it on me. By the way, who is this reviewer complaining moussaka is too “heavy” of a dish? Guess what, “heavy” food gives us the energy to survive, not to mention the zest for life and a will to live!

Shallots in Red Wine at Craft. I’m making Italian fare for Thanksgiving; I’m going to make this dish with whole garlic.

Thanksgiving books; these are with a vegetarian bent (if you won’t be doing the turkey thing) and also several by Native / First Nations authors. I put some on hold at our library to read while we’re at the Lake.

Help
They’re dying of cholera in Haiti; other places in the world lack soap to prevent diseases. 5 million die a day, mostly small children. Go to http://www.cleantheworld.org/ to help (more on “How to help Haiti” at the Chicago Tribune).

“Eight Great Ways to Help Others on Thanksgiving”; yesterday I donated several pounds of veggies and some pantry business to a local family. It felt good to help; it also felt very good not to waste food, something that sends me into a tiny panic. Our cats and chickens help us not waste food either; scraps go to both sets of animals (our chickens are vegetarians but our cats are not).

Consumerism
It’s Christmas time, or rather, it’s time for Ralph and I to stop spending money on utilities and buy and create those extravagances that are so lovely to experience. Ralph and I make most our Christmas presents, but we buy a few as well. I’m currently plaguing Ralph to buy some Samsonite for the kids (their current luggage is falling apart); last night I got the perfect safety pins for a Phoenix project.

Random
I HAVE NO WORDS

One thing’s for sure: Nobody ever sees the pool shark coming.

Birds are like little people.

comic from toothpaste for dinner

only in my dreams, as real as it may seem

I love running but I hate getting sized up, which is what any woman is subjected to the moment she goes outside. And if you go outside dressed femme or sexy or working out or pregnant or discernibly Lady with a Body, it happens all the more. Guess what, fellows, I do not exist for your Boner-Scale of Awesome (or Fail)â„¢. After a near-lifetime of getting speculated on and checked over I’m about sick of it. Sure, you do it without thinking much. After all, why not?  That’s what ladies are for, your once-over (and perhaps verbal speculation although that is not necessary every time), the quick way you decide Yes or No without regard to my personhood or my agency or my say in the matter (which is Nope).

The breathtaking scope and variance of the doodz who haven’t trained out of this culturally-assigned legacy is almost impressive in its nuance and the ways I’ve been evaluated and skewered or “approved”. Maybe some of these men see a buxom lady-jogger and it gets them going and they check out the bounce before off to get their shake and fries at the diner. Maybe some of them see a fat little potato-shaped matron trudging along valiantly but somewhat pathetically. Maybe my thighs are just right for their taste; but maybe my waist is too thick. Maybe my ass isn’t quite big enough although in general my proportions, yum. Maybe they like the lipstick and earrings or take offense at the dowdy sweatshirt.

I do not much care except to say you don’t have the right, and if there’s any part of you that thinks you do you are wrong, and I sympathize you were given this socially-prescribed birthright but as long as you employ it you’re seriously part of The Problem which is Vast and Boring at the same time. And I’m sure like me you want our daughters to grow up free to be people with agency who live in safety, not reduced to fantasy for whatever assholes come their way (nor scorned repeatedly and over and over again if she doesn’t make the grade, well wait a minute, none of us really can anyway), and I’m sure like me you want our sons to grow up respecting all people and sticking up for the women and children and otherwise-marginalized in their lives and showing integrity instead of being carbon-copy Apatowvian dickweeds who think men are center stage in their own comedy/dramady (either Alpha Male or Slacker Alpha Male) and ladies’ feelings are mostly just kind of jokes or Craziness or They Really Like Shopping Har Har!

And ladies. Seriously. If you think I’m running to pursue weight loss or fit into size X jeans or make sure to look good for my boyfriend/husband/coworkers? Nope. If you’re feeling shame when you drive by because my bodywork reminds you you’re “lazy” and “bad” (ZOMG you totally ate two slices of cheesecake last night!) that is seriously your call yet I wish you freedom from self-loathing (often disguised as weight-loss “empowerment”); I once bought this rhetoric, more or less, and I’ve left it behind (or continue to work to do so, rather) and Good Riddance. If you’re driving by and look me up and down and assess me as fat or slow and maybe not a threat, well, you’re certainly right about all that. Some day you’ll probably be fat and slow too, and about 80% of people breed so maybe you’ll be a Mama or step-Mama and get to find out what it’s like to carve out some Self-time in a culture that hardly allows for female imperfections or humanity, and maybe after a few years of exposure to that kind of thing when you see me you’ll stick your fist in the air and pump a Yes! because:

For me running is like every bit a visceral love, from the glittering water in the bay that looks so inviting but is cold and hostile, to the building 1324 long abandoned and faded to a pristinely-aged pink-grey of plywood bleached by sun and wind, to the sour-glue smell of the lumbermill and the attendant log trucks that blast by, to the intersection of Adams and Airport Way that today I have all of a sudden and immediate memory of the first time I saw the place, over 25 years ago, a memory called up; past the shiny, large Ford pickup trucks of the Latino workers with their Catholic church programs stuffed in the front windshield, past the glittering pelicans that dive and float in the treatment pond

And

I raise my hand and wave at every car or on-foot soul I see while I run. I can’t tell if people wave back as usually I have to get my eyes right back on the gravel-laden, treacherous sidewalks. In my ears screech the discordant disasters of Radiohead’s violence followed by their sublime, depressing, self-consciously drink-and-Robitussin-dose yourself on the couch at some party Friday night songs, the sweat is pouring off me and the sun feels better than just about anything.

Some links.

Feminazi Propaganda:
Lesley writes on the all-important boner with “The Suffering Ween: An Important Social Essay” (satire alert).

Do not click on “Sexy and Pregnant: It Is Possible” (from womanist-musings.com) unless you can stomach the good ol’-fashioned lady-hate, which of course is amped up in these particularly specific and nasty little ways the minute a woman takes the step to become a baby incubator. Personally, never in my life has my body been more commented upon and groped by strangers.

Parenting:
Mamapoekie published two pieces having resonance for me today: “Respond With Sensitivity – Why Yelling Is Wrong And How You Can Avoid It” and “Out With The Negative… In With The Positive”.

Activism:
The I-75 project by Norm Magnusson

Celebrate Bisexuality Day; I’m celebrating the same way I do every day: big a big ol’ bisexual. Did you know bisexuals are much-maligned, even within the LGBT community? Often portrayed as “confused”, unfaithful, or “greedy” (yes, greedy!) or my favorite, the sociopathic freak. Last night I watched an episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” where our lead criminal was a comely bisexual lady was also a mass-murdering, ex-prostitute, deeply-damaged-by-horrific-abuse (because all bisexuals are weirdos who had something terrible happen to them as kiddos!), manipulative and high-level identity-chameleon (now that I think about it the first episode of the entire series had a diamond-stealing, you guessed it, cold-blooded killing bisexual; then there was “The Enemy Within” about a murderous nurse who, uh, was a bisexual sociopath. This is that show’s sum-total bisexual treatment in one season plus change.). Or you know, most bisexuals are kind of like everyone else. People.

Incidentally the bisexual I thought of first thing when I learned it was Celebrate Bisexuality Day was Jeremy Brett, probably the best Sherlock Holmes ever, and you know I’m a huge Holmes-geek.

Et Cetera:
At Attack From Planet B we have a recap of Megashark vs. Giant Octopus. This film has serious merits and holds a special place in the Hogaclan esteem. First of all you have Deborah Gibson (yeah, that one) and Lorenzo Lamas (yup, that guy, and by the way, all my pregnancy ultrasounds were done by his brother – no lie); you also have an Asian male love interest for Ms. Gibson’s character (no – really!) and of course some wonderful implausibilities (warning: clicking results in spoilers). By the way please, please tell me Mega Python vs. Gataroid is real, and we will be seeing more B movies pitting 80s pop stars against the monsters.

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s; I want to get this so bad for Phoenix. She is an exemplary artist and loves creepy horror comics. I have not been able to find a lot of good examples. Contemporary ones usually have over-the-top rape and violence narratives, besides, much like me, I think the girl appreciates vintage.

I just ordered this pattern to sew my brother up some underwear (as per his request); today some stellar elastic arrived via eBay. Fabric choices: a lovely bamboo/cotton. I can’t wait to get started!

Finally: I am going to open up a homesewn shop here at the blog. Slow-sewing. What kinds of pieces would you like to see? (note: any feedback is not considered a commitment to purchase!)