26 May 2009

My So Called Life . . . "he leans great . . ."

Does anyone else remember this incredible show, My So-Called Life, that aired for only one momentous year? Claire Danes beautifully portrayed all the angst and suffering of being a teenage girl in love just by her nuanced facial expressions. She managed to convey simultaneously feeling tortured and enchanted--no mean feat.

I loved this show. It was great.

24 May 2009

Pinkberry = crackberry

Okay, so I was forced against my will to try Pinkberry frozen yogurt, which I had only heard of from watching The Hills, i.e. the most disturbing show on television. Just that fact alone was enough to make me resist the idea that it was worth trying, but my friend Seth made me do it. He has never watched The Hills. Smart guy.

It was, I have to admit, the best frozen yogurt type product I have ever had. It was tart, creamy, delicious, smooth, and somehow really refreshing and light. I had pomegranate and regular swirl with raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Divine. Of course Pinkberry only exists in California and New York.

Damn you, Pinkberry.


My brother told me about this new zombie movie called Pontypool. This is the first I've heard of it--how about you? Trailer above.

I'm always in the mood for a new zombie movie.

16 May 2009

It Is Gone by Carol Berryhill

I found the wonderful artwork of Carol Berryhill through the always incredible Roadside Scholar. Currently I'm obsessed with this image titled "It Is Gone." Carol explains that it is a process called collagraph, which is a type of intaglio printing. I find it beautiful and haunting. Love this image!

Check out more of her work on her web site and her etsy shop, PlateInkPaper.

14 May 2009

It's no mindsticker, but watch this!

Vintage Carnation commercial from the 1970s. Brought to you by the kick-ass women at feministing.

When I watch this commercial, I am reminded of the soft lighting, cheesy music and hazy images from soft-core porn. It is also one of the best advertisements for staying fat I've ever seen: if this product makes your husband leave later for work, come home for lunch, and come home from work early, perhaps it should be jettisoned!

And by the way, what about that awesome extreme wing chair in the last image? I want that thing.

13 May 2009

cross-country road trip with chihuahua!

Since I live in the midwest and my family is in California I travel frequently to the west coast. Sometimes I fly, sometimes I drive. I'm not a big fan of flying--at least once during every flight I am certain that my death is imminent. Anyway, this summer I'm driving out with my little chihuahua traveling companion.

Driving is exhausting, yes, especially when I have to do all of it. Marcy Keeton Younger would help me drive, except her little arms can't reach the steering wheel. Here's the thing I really love about driving--when I drive I actually have the sense of miles traveled. In other words, when I fly, I always feel disoriented after arriving in another state. It seems surreal, and weird, and it never seems quite real. Driving is tiring, and takes forever, yes, but I have a real sense of each mile traveled. Besides, it's fun.

Marcy and I stop every hour or two to pee and check out the landscape. I have to say that the rest stops in Nebraska are the best anywhere. They have lots of grass, nice covered areas, and lovely little snack machines. I also enjoy the rest stops in Colorado, although they are much less grassy than in Nebraska. I will take pictures and document the trip in case anyone is interested, but posting will be sporadic until I return in early June.

11 May 2009

It's about time--no more federal funding for abstinence only sex ed!

Thanks to the ever on top of everything important feministing for this short but sweet video of Rachel Maddow on the latest actually based on logic and science move from the Obama administration. Whew!

Go, Obama.

08 May 2009

Pro-birth groups attack Judy Blume

As a long time supporter of Planned Parenthood, Judy Blume recently lent her celebrity as a pioneer in Young Adult fiction to support their cause. Of course, the pro-birth/anti-choice/anti-abortion/anti-woman groups got their panties all in a twist and began an all-out flame war on Planned Parenthood and Judy Blume.

As a scholar of YA fiction, and an avid admirer of Ms. Blume's devotion to some very important progressive causes such as free speech and women's reproductive rights I think we all need to support her in this fight. If you think women have a right to determine what to do with their own bodies, make a donation to Planned Parenthood now. I'm going to.

By the way, Judy Blume has written dozens of books for teens, a few for adults, and has been published in over 17 languages. Many young women learned about sex from her book Forever. Many also learned about menstruation from Are You There, God? It's me, Margaret. She is a prolific author and is a very important figure in the world of YA literature. She's awesome. If you haven't read any of her books, you should. One of my personal favorites is Forever--which Blume wrote in part as a response to a request from her daughter. Blume's daughter wanted to read a teen novel where the main character has sex and doesn't get punished (death, pregnancy, shaming, disease, deformity, acne) in some major way for doing the deed. So Blume, ever the innovator, wrote Forever. In a genre replete with punishment for "transgressive" teen behavior, Forever is a refreshing narative where sex is actually pleasurable and no one dies. Amazing.

By the way, you should also read Deenie for its incredible depiction of female masturbation and body image issues. I also recommend Then Again, Maybe I Won't for a remarkable story about class, assimilation, and male sexual pleasure.

06 May 2009

on very thin ice

Gotta love this video, brought to you by way of Get Your War On.
I love David Rees, we both love this video mash-up.

Brooklyn artist Michael Gregory has created two of these videos called Auto-Tune the News. This is the second one. Awesome.

05 May 2009

lavender obsession and mound building

Lavender is my personal obsession. I have loved it for a long, long, time, and now that I have a yard I can plant it in my own garden! I did plant some last year, without reading about it, and all three of them died after the winter. Or at least they didn't return to life in the spring.

So, I did some reading, and discovered that I needed to make sure the soil is well-drainable, and this can involve building mounds of soil mixed with compost and tiny round rocks.

This mound-building is a lot of work--but perhaps it will be worth it. I also learned that in humid climates one has to be careful of too much water. I may have over-watered last summer.

Lavender varieties from top to bottom: Fred Boutin, French Fringe, and Red Kew

04 May 2009

Sheila E and Yaphet Akira

We just planted a beautiful Japanese maple and some amazing Red Kew lavender in front of our house. We named the lavender Sheila E at the request of a friend, and the maple is Yaphet Akira. I think they're both charming additions to the landscape.

03 May 2009

Prosecute them for War Crimes

Why is it that we have prosecuted and imprisoned some of the soldiers who were guards at Abu Ghraib yet we have not prosecuted the commanders who ordered and condoned the torture? And by commanders I mean Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzalez, Douglas Feith, and George W. Bush. Perhaps there are others who should be prosecuted. For awhile the media was all abuzz with the news that Spain was considering indictments for these people. What happened? Why can't we do something about this outrage?

As far as I'm concerned, anyone involved in fabricating the evidence that led us to war in Iraq, or anyone involved in lying to us about the WMDs in Iraq should also be prosecuted. I never believed that W or Cheney were honorable in any way--and I didn't believe one word that came of of either of their filthy little mouths. But many, many people did believe them. They were in charge, They were "people in authority," so people looked up to them.

Some are arguing that we need to move on as a nation. Okay, then, move on. But move on with Cheney and Bush in jail. In fact, former prosecutor and current author Vincent Bugliosi has written a book arguing that George W. Bush should be prosecuted for murder. That's right, murder.

Here's a list of some of W's other crimes:
Disregarding and dismantling the constitution.
Illegal wiretapping.
Declaring "mission accomplished" when he knew it wasn't over.
Hiding evidence of all of these actions.
Illegally imprisoning countless people at Guantanamo Bay.