2 weeks ago
31 October 2009
One of my favorite movies of all time is Halloween III. It has absolutely nothing to do with Michael Myers or the original Halloween except that some of the actors from Halloween are in it and Tommy Wallace (the editor of the original) wrote and directed Halloween III.
Halloween III has the distinction of being my favorite Tom Atkins movie. If you haven't seen it, safe to say it has one of the best plots ever. It involves getting kids to wear certain masks on Halloween which then will the kill them by turning their innocent little noggins into a writhing mass of disgusting insects as they watch the Magic Pumpkin!
Beware--and Happy Halloween!
30 October 2009
I admit I'm a big fan of the swiffer. I really like swiffering my hardwood floors, and I can't get over how great the swiffer dust mop is. I'm even going to buy a washable pad for my swiffer (Etsy!) so I don't have to rely upon the wasteful disposable dusters. That said, I don't own a swiffer wet mop, but I have thought about it. I have, however, been disturbed by the ridiculous swiffer commercials that depict mops and brooms pining after women who have abandoned them for the swiffer. And of course these commercials, as all cleaning product narratives do, only ever depict women cleaning; usually after men and children who make a huge mess.
But it was not not until this morning, when I read this post on Feministing Community by a nine year old young woman, did I really think about how these narratives romanticize and trivialize stalking. You go, smart girl!
29 October 2009
Here's an amazing photograph of my great grandmother (Annie Elizabeth Keeton) and her daughter Annie Mae Keeton Etter (my grandmother). My mother's mother Annie Mae is very cute, and I just love the look on her face. But what I really love is the look of calm determination on my great grandmother's very beautiful face. She helped raise my mom, and although she died very soon after I was born, I feel her presence in my life in a very powerful way. Here's to strong and powerful women!
Jacks has seemed to make himself at home now that we have officially adopted him. Marcy still chases him relentlessly, and gets really bent out of shape when I pet him or even speak to him, but nonetheless Jacks finds ways of relaxing on a daily basis.
Marcy must have been sleeping at the time.
25 October 2009
I love horror movies--really love them. I teach a class on women in horror film and it is in many ways my favorite class to teach. What could be better? We watch horror films, read critical essays and a few novels, and take seriously a genre that deserves to be taken seriously.
Last night I saw Paranormal Activity and I really liked it. It wasn't the scariest movie I've ever seen--but it was very creepy and wildly entertaining. I think the creepiest aspect of the movie was how my own anxiety about where I was supposed to be looking made me jumpy. What was going to happen next? I kept wondering where the next fright would come from--I was trying to pay attention to the ways the camera angle was directing my gaze--it was all very exhausting and disturbing. Lots of fun!
Once I got home I found that the ending that was created for theatrical release was not the original ending of the movie--another interesting twist. I thought I'd provide the "original" ending in case anyone wants to watch it. Be forewarned, it really helps to have seen the entire movie--context is key for this one.
10/29/2009 Update: Paramount keeps blocking anyone from showing the original ending of this movie--I've literally posted and re-posted this clip about a dozen times. I give up! You can probably get it on you tube yourself, as people seem to be keeping one step ahead of Paramount there.
24 October 2009
I'm not really afraid of getting the H1N1 flu virus. I may get it, but I figure I'll survive even though it would surely wreak havoc with my semester. I am only really concerned because I have asthma, and that make me a bit more vulnerable to the flu and to more serious complications from the flu. Of course I get my regular flu vaccine every year without fail. Here's my gripe: I'm really pissed that I am not on the list right now of groups that are prioritized for the H1N1 vaccine.
Who is on the list? Health care workers, of course, children (I suppose) and pregnant women. The pregnant women group is that group that I take issue with. Here's my twisted and, according to my Mom, self-absorbed/narcississtic logic. Pregnant women, by and large, choose to be pregnant. They certainly don't have to get pregnant. In fact, I might argue that pregnancy is a darn poor choice in this economy and in this messed up environment. But really, please, I have asthma. I didn't choose to have asthma--it is an inherited condition that makes my lungs less able to process air out and in. Asthma also weakens one's immune system. So, therefore, those silly, selfish, breeders need to move over and let me in the line.
Step aside, bitches!
(Photo above is of the flu epidemic in 1976.)
21 October 2009
Okay, apparently there is another group out there (with the catchy name Choice Kills) that has gone and done lost their teeny tiny minds. They actually have a tiny talking embryo with a teeny tiny little girly voice saying "All I want is to get out of here alive!" Aside from the fact that a fetus cannot talk, what would she really say? Perhaps she might protest this group using her image without permission.
And what's with that logo? A fetus being speared by a machete? Now that's just going too far.
Everyone around here (the midwest) loves fall. Really loves it! I think it's okay, but in some respects I dislike it because it is a reminder of the winter to come. Yes, the colors are beautiful. It's sort of nice to wear scarves and boots and feel cozy. But really, now, I like summer so much better! Hot sun, humidity, ice-cream. Anyway, here's a couple of pictures of the stunning fall color around my domain.
20 October 2009
Just watched this really great video of the civil disobedience group The Yes Men totally fuck with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their unconscionable stance on global climate change.
The best part about this public disruption and manipulation of the press is the way the "real" Chamber of Commerce guy cannot seem to get control of the fake press conference. It's just so much fun to watch him try.
But really what makes me happy is the idea that The Yes Men are really trying to DO something. You can sign up at their web site. I did.
19 October 2009
. . . but it is a very interesting and mildly disgusting website. It is called This Is Why You're Fat, and it is chock full of pictures of the most disturbing food items ever devised. Some of my favorites are the Rubix Cubewich and the corn dog casserole, and the banana peanut butter cup and marshmallow grilled sandwich. Enjoy!
I wonder if people actually eat any of these concoctions?
17 October 2009
16 October 2009
Wow-there is actually a food truck in Los Angeles that specializes in gourmet and down-home grilled cheese sandwiches. Holy velveeta! Here's a picture of their basic BBC sandwich (bread/butter/cheese).
They have all kinds of amazing grilled cheese delights, like gouda and pear, and of course the cheesy mac and rib melt (gross!)! They also have a caprese sandwich with mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil. I am looking forward to the savory sandwiches with no meat. Check out their web site, and to find out where they're gonna be parked follow them on twitter. I will definitely be seeking out this food emporium on wheels when I get to Los Angeles in December!
13 October 2009
Here is the complete text of a very serious press release issued earlier today by Drake University.
Suspicious backpack outside Howard Hall found to contain a toy gun
At approximately 8:02 a.m. today, a Drake University staff member called Campus Security after finding a suspicious unattended backpack on the exterior south landing of Howard Hall. A cryptic but nonthreatening note attached to the backpack contained the cell phone number of a Drake student.
Campus Security immediately responded and called the Des Moines Police Department, which sent the bomb squad.
While Campus Security officers kept people away from the backpack, members of the bomb squad took an x-ray of it. The x-ray showed what appeared to be a handgun.
Members of the bomb squad attached a rope to the backpack and dragged it away from the building and onto the lawn. There, they opened the backpack and found it contained a toy metal cap gun, a toy dinosaur and Twinkies.
The investigation is continuing as Campus Security and the Des Moines police question the student whose phone number was attached to the backpack.
A sweep of all other Drake buildings found no unattended backpacks or other suspicious items.
My only question is this: Twinkies?
October 16 update: Apparently there were no twinkies in the backpack, just Ho-Hos. A serious disappointment!
11 October 2009
10 October 2009
Okay, I'm very excited to be able to post this totally fucked up and truly weird and disturbing anti-gay marriage video. It was created by some group called Protect Marriage Washington. Oh my stars.
UPDATE: The scumbags have forced removal of their lame-ass hate-filled commercial from all sites except their own lame-ass hate-filled web site. It's worth a look.
Voila il est: Alain Robert, the one they call the French Spiderman, climbing yet another ridiculously tall building. The video is wonderful--not just for his climbing, but for the lovely people watching, the frenzied response of the police, and the charming applause once he reaches the top.
My question is this: why do we do things like this? What makes it so fun, thrilling and inspirational? I think it's partially because he could fall at any moment and be crushed like a bug. I also think it is because he is very brave, and very foolish, a combination we love.
05 October 2009
Okay, now I swear I'm not making this up, but the other day I was buying bagged spinach in the regular old grocery store and there I found not just plain spinach and the ubiquitous baby spinach but a new kind of spinach: teenage spinach. I've tried to find out what this means, really, and I've had very little success. What on earth is teenage spinach? I managed to find a site that describes what it is in contrast to baby spinach:
NSF categorized spinach into two sizes, “baby” and “teen,” although no products were marketed as “teen” spinach. There are no regulatory standards for the term “baby” and “teen” spinach. The difference between baby and teen spinach was based solely on the size of the leaf, otherwise the products were handled the same. . . . baby and teen spinach may have been used interchangeably in processing if demand made it necessary. A bag labeled, “baby spinach” manufactured at NSF, was not necessarily composed of baby spinach under the firm’s specifications.
I took this text from a State of California Public Health web site that had a report on the tainted spinach scandal of 2006. Anyway, of course it's out of context, but it is revealing. I got the photo from a British produce firm. I'm going to take a picture of the actual bag of "teenage" spinach and I will post it as soon as I can.
04 October 2009
I've decided to finally post some of the pictures I took on my summer road trip. I drove from Iowa to California (and back!) with my faithful companion Marcy. She was a very good navigator, and kept me alerted to any predators that were lurking.
While driving through Las Vegas, I noticed the intriguing juxtaposition of these two billboards, one right after the other. Hmmmm . . .
02 October 2009
Looky what I just bought! I love Carol Berryhill's work, and since I just got paid (we only get paid once a month!) I decided to splurge on another one of her luminous etchings. This one is called "Eliza" and has a companion piece entitled "Emma." Only bought this one.
Carol Berryhill does some amazing stuff; there's a link to her Etsy shop at right. It's called Plate Ink Paper. Yes, I admit I am addicted to Etsy. Etsy is the first place I go in the morning after I check my email. Sometimes I talk myself into being a good citizen and go to the Los Angeles Times, then perhaps BBC News, then after I've had at least a half cup of coffee I zip on over to Etsy and peruse my favorite sellers.
I wonder . . . am I the only one who checks Etsy obsessively?