Monthly Archives: December 2011

Hommage Outfit Reveal Post!

Okay dudes, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this week is unusually blog-heavy! Typically I reserve Sunday as my day to blog and write once a week, but the holidays have filled my brain with things to share. Tomorrow I start preparing for my favorite kind of post: Year In Review!!!! The thought of sharing a year’s worth of pictures chronologically is one of the big reasons I decided to start a blog in the first place.  Nostalgia! Organizing! Captions! What did I do this year, anyway?!

Before I get to that, I must reveal which cultural artifact inspired an outfit I wore a couple of weeks ago. Remember when I did my first outfit post and asked people to guess the inspiration behind the clothes? I realized afterward that it was a tough guess because usually outfits are inspired by other outfits worn by other people. I asked a lot of my friends in real life, and they just couldn’t move past that, no matter how many times I said, ‘No, no, it’s inspired by a thing. Not a celebrity or a movie. A thing. A physical object that you could hold in your hands.’ Blank stares were elicited and groans were grunted. No cigars.

The Outfit

The Inspiration

Does anyone other than Dated Technology even remember the iBook? I’m a little scared that you don’t!

Dear Internet Friends Alive Right Now,

The iBook and iMac are a crucial part of our shared history. Without them we would not have enjoyed the vibrant translucence so crucial to tween culture in the early ’00s.

Remember when everything--toothbrushes, backpacks, discmans, calculators, picture frames, everything--looked like this? We owe it all to the iBook and iMac.

It was a world where everything was brighter, rounder, cuter!

However, even if you did not love living in a slightly more Technicolor world and the aesthetics just aren’t your style, you might still want to revere the iMac/iBook   for what they added to our linguistic landscape. The iMac/iBook heralded the arrival of the iConvention. One upon a time, putting an ‘i’ in front of a word was new. Everything from computers (duh) to pillows and lipgloss was made instantly cooler by adding an ‘i’ to the front of its name. Now we take our iLives for granted. But we don’t have to.

We can choose to remember and pay hommage with our outfits!

Sincerely,
kristy

Advertisements

My Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas, Christmas-celebrators! I hope you are all having a wonderful day. I was inspired by blogger Natalie Holbrook to write about my Christmas tree. You can read that short essay below.

After graduating from college, I packed my life into four suitcases, said goodbye to a lot of my shoes, and moved across the country to live with three of my favorite friends in New York City! I couldn’t wait to have my first adult apartment and decorate my first grown-up Christmas tree.

However, after six months of an unsuccessful search for a Real Job and two months of an unsuccessful search for a couch small enough to fit through our apartment’s tiny front door,* I decided it would be imprudent to buy one. I suppose a living room without a couch would have allowed the tree to be the center of attention, and I’m sure that stripped-down-modern-Christmas feeling appeals to some. But for me, a tree without a couch from which to contemplate it seemed sad and somehow symbolic of my lacking stable employment.

Besides, New York is practically the Official City of Christmas Trees. Being a resident, I reckoned I could pick a favorite and declare it mine. I thought of letting the Rockefeller Tree & the Madison Square Park Tree compete for my affection—although let’s be real, I’m an indoor gal. The Plaza would have probably won, no contest.

I was busy creating a mental tree scoresheet when, like all great things, my favorite tree found me.

Isn’t she a beaut?

She spotted me on my way to the Subway and declared, ‘Hey, I’m your New York tree!’

I like her because she is so New York. Not bright lights, big city New York, but my New York: a little neighborhood in Brooklyn where space is tight and you make do with what ya got. Scrappy New York! The proud feeling I get when I’m ducking and squeezing into a too-full Subway car or carrying fifteen pounds of groceries seven blocks to my two-story walk-up. When I look at my tree, she says, ‘You did it, girl. You’re here. Now quit lookin’. Don’t you have someplace you gotta be?’

* Seriously, if you know of any cheap, miniature, comfortable sofas, hit me up—the comfortable part is negotiable. We are desperate.

Season’s Geography Lesson

Greetings from sunny Mexico!

Last night a strange substance began to fall from the skies. It fell all night and left a strange residue on the ground. Being the brave soul that I am can be, I ventured out to inspect it this afternoon.

Upon close inspection the mystery substance was revealed to be...snow!

Yes, friends, it snowed in Mexico!!!!

Actually, snow is not uncommon here in Northern Mexico.

Another thing that is quite common is having Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. This year my family did a white-elephant gift exchange, and I got the Best Present Ever.

My very own copy of 'Twilight: New Moon'!

Oh boy. I guess I only have myself (and the law of attraction) to blame.

New York Problems

The other day Tasha knocked on my bedroom door to ask if her new bag (pictured above) is too big.

Me: No, why?

Tasha: ‘Cause taxis keep honking at me thinking I’m going to the airport. Some car service guy rolled down the window & yelled, “Where ya goin’?”

It’s her gym bag.

The Third Installment of My Twilight Saga + Bonus Outfit Post!

The day before Thanksgiving I found myself doing something I swore I’d never do: watching Twilight in a movie theater. I did it because I was with two of my little cousins (15 and 17, respectively), and I love my family. I have slept through like all of the Lord of the Rings movies for them, so when my cousins wanted to see Breaking Dawn, I gulped, shrugged, and pulled out my phone to record observations for this blog.

I don't know why this came up when I searched 'Twilight' on Google Images, but look at the feminist symbol pasta!

Breaking Down, Pun Intended

1. Her mom always wears American Eagle shorts.

2. Alice has Pixar Animated Movie mom hair.

3. Ikea lamps in her bedroom, holla!

4. Totally flat delivery: ‘I’ve been waiting a century to marry you, Miss Swan.’ I don’t buy it.

5. A, my 17 year-old cousin, would like me to note that Edward is way more attractive in this one.

6. What’s that weird puppy painting by her bed? Are we supposed to buy that she has interests aside from Edward?

7. Bella. Still with the overtweezed eyebrows. What’s the symbolism of this, do you think?

8. Here comes the (hyperventilating) bride!

9. Man, the giveaway scene is so literal in this movie.

10. URINA?! BEST NAME EVER!

11. Vampire-werewolf dramz at weddings is the worst!

12. Alice’s gender policing gives femmes a bad name! Bella, you should wear whatever shoes you want.

13. She’s always more excited to see Jacob! They’re being so inappropriate.

14. If you’re crying at your wedding, that’s not cool. Especially if it’s over some other dude.

15. OKAY, BOYS, NOBODY MAN-HANDLE BELLA. Bella, stand up for yrself.

16. Says Edward, ‘I’m nothing if not traditional.’ Gag me with a spooooooon!

17. Says Edward, ‘Bella, I can’t tell you how sorry I am.’ …Because I’m obviously not capable of emotion.

18. Really don’t get the concept of ‘imprinting.’ Someone explain it to me steb by step. It’s way different than what I learned from Fly Away Home.

19. The poor housekepers! Edward & Bella don’t even apologize for their mess. Classism, ugh.

20. Why on earth wouldn’t they use protection?!?!? A 100 year-old man isn’t considerate or wise enough to use a condom. COME OOOOON!

21. No abortions even in the event of accidental impregnation by a demon (this law coming soon to a legislative body near you!).

22. G, my 15-yo cousin says, ‘Yeah, her baby bump’s freaking disgusting!’

23. Bella’s pregnancy look: heroin chic.

24. The werewolves really DO sound like Power Rangers. Thank you for this tiny gift, Hollywood.

25. Someone’s always after Bella, & 2 dudes are always watching out for her, & I’m always being a Twilight downer. (Sorry, blogreaders.)

26. ALT ENDING: Sam’s ex & Jacob imprint on each other, effectively preventing Jacob from becoming a sick pedophile. : (

27. Says Bella, ‘It feels complete when you’re here, Jake.’ BELLA TOTALLY WANTS TO BE POLY WITH JACOB. WOAH.

28. Why the styrofoam cup full o’ blood. Not environmentally responsible. Minus ten points.

29. Just wash the bloody baby already!

30. Jacob (about the love of his life who is a NEWBORN BABY, GROSS): ‘You would be anything that she needs: a friend, a brother, a protector.’ What about a partner instead? I am firmly of the belief that no one needs a protector. Except babies & kids. They need protectors…from pedophiles. So…

31. G turns to me and says, ‘Look she’s gonna get boobs!’ And she did.

THE END!

Now that we are done with Twilight, can you guess what cultural artifact inspired my outfit today? Hint: it has nothing to do with Twilight and everything to do with the early ’00s.

GUESSGUESSGUESSGUESS

Enter the Twilight

Currently, I am vibrating with caffeine-fueled energy, the kind that makes my eyeballs vibrate and should be good for being productive only it makes me really spazzy (yes, I said ‘spazzy.’ If the 20-and-under crowd can walk around looking like it’s 1995, then I can talk like it’s the mid-90s. And bring back pogs. Speaking of, did you know that I got all my pogs for free because they came in Sabritas bags? When I moved to Texas, I was all, ‘You kids had to pay for your pogs? Poor Americans.’)

Okay, so now it’s obvious why I’m not writing any cover letters at present. However, I am in the mood to write. I would like to write about so many things:

• Like my first close encounter of the New York City rodent kind (in the kitchen, no less).

• OR how that fear & disgust paled in comparison to finding LUNCHMEAT in my chocolate croissant.

• OR how I learned the hard way that people don’t automatically interpret text messages as melodramatic when I write in all caps. I thought it was an unwritten rule of texting, but apparently not. (What I mean by this is that I texted my friends, ‘SOMETHING AWFUL JUST HAPPENED TO ME,’ when what I meant was ‘I FOUND TURKEY IN MY PASTRY.’) Lesson learned. Sorry about the scare.

• OR how Deepak Chopra has a videogame now!

But I have to write about Twilight because I promised.

This story begins in the Fall of 2007, an exciting time in my life, the going-off-to-college period. I was in a young-adult book club with some of my favorite high-school teachers at the time, and they had chosen Twilight  as the next read. I’d never heard of it, but it was the first book I picked up from Powell’s (Portland’s legendary independent bookstore). I read it diligently, making sure to finish it before starting my Fall semester, and when I went home for Fall Break, I was eager to discuss it with my teachers.

Here I am my first night in the dorm, reading 'Twilight,' & having no idea that this picture would embarrass me in the future.

When we met, I gave them my honest opinion. I never connected with Bella. I kept waiting for her character to develop, and it just never happened. As for Edward, I thought he was really patronizing, constantly sneering at ‘poor little Bella.’ Only my Women’s Lit teacher agreed. She said it was about an abusive relationship and that she wouldn’t recommend the book to young-adult readers because it glamorizes a toxic relationship dynamic.

Nobody. Else. Agreed. It was like they were all blinded by Edward’s sparkles. They talked about how he was in the role of ‘protector,’ and then moved on to talking about their favorite scenes, the possibility of Twilight becoming the next Harry Potter, and other equally-uncritical observations. I was shocked. These wimyn had introduced me to some of my favorite books—books with strong, independent heroines. These wimyn were themselves strong, independent heroines in my book!

I went back to college with an unsavory taste in my mouth. The book club, which would have dissolved anyway due to distance, ended on a bad note. I knew it was going to end eventually, but I had no idea it would end with me feeling so confused.

I returned to college and promptly forgot about Edward and Bella. Until…

CHRISTMAS 2008

After the Twilight movie premiered, pretty much every member of my family read the books. Including my baby cousins (ages 12-15)! I went into Loud Feminist Mode (possibly my favorite mode) and lectured anyone who would listen. One of my psychologist aunts agreed. Her critique of Twilight was that it idealizes the idea of dropping everything for a dude, that Bella essentially transforms from Person to Girlfriend, relinquishing all other aspects of her identity. Everyone else agreed that ‘[I] take everything too seriously.’

Again, I was sad and confused. My family is chock full (chock full, I tell you!) of strong, independent wimyn. I should think they would be outraged at a wimpy-girl fairy tale marketed to young girls; and yet, they weren’t. That prompted me to think very seriously about our society. I think we are so used to seeing flat characters in romantic stories that we are unfazed. Often (maybe even USUALLY) wimyn are portrayed as weaklings and men are portrayed as tough-guy heroes—to the extent that even my favorite feminists overlook this trope in literature and film, because to protest it would be to protest virtually all media.

I’m no exception. I like rom-coms and Sex and the City as much as the next girl. More, actually.

What strikes me about Twilight isn’t that it’s extreme, though I do think it is slightly more extreme in its damsel-in-distress depiction than other books and movies (but only slightly!).

What strikes me is that there are no belly laughs. Bella never ever ever seems happy! And Edward is this creepy, lurky guy who seems incapable of joy.

I don’t think anything should be classified as a romance if the characters are not deeply happy. That doesn’t have anything to do with politics, but it does make me think that our society has set the bar pretty low when it comes to love. And that we are taught to mistake Drama for Romance.

I encountered this book when my baby cousins were on the brink of independent social lives, on the brink of dating. I love them because they are hilarious, well-rounded, smart, creative people. I want them to read books and watch movies that affirm that being intelligent and funny is great! Having friends is great! Being loved for being a person is great! Most of all, I want them to know that a healthy romantic relationship will make you happy at least 95% of the time.  Otherwise, it is simply not worth the energy.

Let’s end this on an uplifting note: check out this list of 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader.

This holiday season, we can do better than Twilight!