In Her Shell
Sunday, March 29, 2009
  The Real Reason
Madonna has been discouraged by a UK charity from adopting another child in Malawi. Perhaps they are concerned about her insistence on keeping a zombie and a vampire in her entourage.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I was looking around my house today, evaluating my stuff.

This was primarily motivated by the fact that we were about to have a major appliance delivered, and whenever there are delivery people or workmen about to come into my house, I wonder vaguely whether they got into this business so they could case houses for their primary business of robbing houses, and I look around my home and think about whether, if I were a house-robber disguised as a skilled laborer or delivery person, there is anything here I would bother to come back for, under cover of darkness.

This is a part of my general paranoia. When I was little I convinced myself that it was plausible that a robber could get caught in my house by surprise when we came home, and be sneaking from hiding place to hiding place for weeks. For years I checked behind every closed shower curtain before going to the bathroom, just out of habit.

Casing my own joint today, I thought that even though I have "a lovely home," and a wonderful embarassment of riches, it's not what you'd call robber-worthy. Almost everything (with the exception of this appliance, which was just delivered by two kind men who even set it up for me even though we didn't pay for that) is used.

I started thinking about the time in my life when I didn't buy anything new. I shopped exclusively in used record stores, used book stores, and thrift shops. It hadn't yet been packaged as 'recycling' or 'repurposing' or 'keeping it out of a landfill.' It was cheap. And so much more of a stalking adventure, to dig through a disorganized mess and come up with a gem, even if it was scratched/falling apart/didn't fit. It was only $2!

I still shop in those places, but not with the same fierce loyalty. I still love the cheapness and the weird people there, the unique stuff you find and the way it makes your self, and your home, a true representation of you, and not something anyone would bother coming back to steal.

This is not me. But what a perfect ambience, right?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
  Another Thing I Feel Bad About (St. Patrick's Day Edition)

In fourth grade on St. Patrick's Day, I told Rob Hammer I was Irish when he asked, even though I had no idea if it was true (it wasn't). He seemed happy, though, and smiled at me. Sigh.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
  Things I Feel Bad About
1. I regularly foist books on other people and insist that they MUST read them. Then, if they don't read them right away, I get irritated. However, I prefer to pick out my own books and when someone loans a book to me I procrastinate and rarely finish it.

2. I can't stop watching Veronica Mars. Someone loaned me Season 1 and even though I think it's pretty bad, I watch 3 episodes every afternoon and will continue until they run out. I've had this song in my head for the last week and today I actually IMDB'ed this guy.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
  My New Favorite Video
The first time I watched this, I laughed so hard I was crying.
Still a good mood-lifter.

Thursday, March 05, 2009
One of the downsides of having Google News as my home page is that I always know what's going on with Chris Brown and Rihanna. I don't have any idea who either of these people are.

The latest, however, reminded me of something I was given when I was training to be a volunteer at a local women's crisis center. I do understand the anger when She goes back to Him; I've been on the bewildering and frustrating end of a loved one's refusal to leave. And some of it is less applicable to wealthy pop stars, but it's still worth thinking about.

The Right Questions
What's wrong with this man?
What makes him think he can get away with that?
Did the cops arrest him?
Is he in jail?
When will he be prosecuted?
Is he likely to get a serious sentence?
Is she getting adequate police protection?
Are the children provided for?
Did the court evict him from her house?
Does she need any other help?
Medical help or legal aid?
Affordable housing?
Temporary financial aid?
Child support?

The Wrong Question
Why doesn't she leave?
Monday, March 02, 2009
  Reasons Why Twilight Is A Big Steaming Pile, Part II

Let me start this post by saying that I did not actually finish the book. I got to about page 300, and I just couldn't bear it anymore, it was that boring. I did, however, skip ahead to about page 400, when the heroine is in danger yet again and he saves her life, again, and then to the end of the book, when absolutely nothing has changed. Here are my final thoughts:

-In addition to the multiple times the vampire boyfriend physically overpowers her over her "protests," she takes to curling up in his lap "like a child," he carries her or strokes her hair or whatever "like a child" many times. Creepy and paternalistic.

-The tired old vampire-biting-as-sex metaphor gets teened up in tired old ways as well. The main character is always fretting about not "making it harder for him" and he's always talking about how scared she should be that he might "lose control." She asks him if they'd ever be able to actually do it, and he (of course the decider about such things) says no because he thinks he might lose control so much that he could "crush her skull" in a moment of passion. She repeatedly says that she knows she should be more afraid of him than she is, since its only his willpower that keeps him from "destroying" her, and he often seems irritated with her that she isn't more afraid of him.

Thematic elements aside, the writing is just crap. M. told me she thinks it captures the mindset of a teenage girl really well, but I think it just reads like it was written by a tweenybopper.

-The narrator loses her shit every. time. she sees him, fawning over the way his shirt clings to his "finely muscled chest," etc. My favorite excerpt in this vein: "No angel could have been more glorious."
-The vampire "chuckled," the narrator "scowled," and one of them "grimaced" on nearly every page. You think I'm kidding.

And worst of all:

-There is no sub-plot. None. By page 300, the whole thing was about how fucking hot this vampire is, and how unworthy she feels to be with him, and how tormented he is because he wants to "kill" her, and on and on and on, page after breathless page. There are other characters, but they are mostly Other Boys Who Like Her and The Girls Who Don't Like Her Because Of That. It seemed like around page 400 another vampire appears who wants to kill her, but I consider that only part of the main plot because it is just more of the narrator sacrificing herself and the vampire boyfriend coming to the rescue.

To sum up, this is nothing more than a cut-rate romance novel written by your Mormon neighbor's sexually frustrated, self-loathing 12 year old. And I'm out.

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