Friday, June 26, 2009

I am a child of the 80's

Which is why I feel I must share that this was the first cassette I ever bought with my allowance:

I also started this blog because I tell stories over an over again like someone 30 years my senior - if I write them down, maybe I will stop telling them. So here are two you may or may not have heard.

After buying said cassette, I had it in my walkman (yes, kids, a walkman) that I would listen to while on the swings - Graceland was my other choice for this activity.

One night my dad stole borrowed my walkman to go for a run. Ten minutes later he came running through the door and said to anyone that would hear him:
What is this shit!?!
Evidently, he was not expecting Vincent Price to narrate his night-time run through the neighborhood.

Granted, this was maybe four or five years after Thriller had been released, but while we owned the record, I don't think my dad ever listened to it and we didn't have MTV (I wouldn't see the full length video until I was in high school). It would also not be the last time he asked that about my musical taste.

I am going to guess that the reason I decided to buy Thriller, years after it was released, is because this next story is indicative of just how ingrained the King of Pop was into many a young psyche.

In kindergarten we were paired with 6th graders who were supposed to act as our "mentors." Mine was a boy - not at all weird and awkward, right?

They were also our "secret" santas during our holiday party. I don't have any memories about my mentor other than a vague uncomfortableness around a boy that seemed infinitely older than me, except for what he gave me. I opened a small white box and inside was a sparkly, gleaming, totally rad and wonderful, tiny, white glove pin.

Mind you, we did not have MTV. I don't remember watching Michael Jackson on TV, ever, but I certainly remember Captain EO. I put the lid back on the box and sat on it for the rest of the party. I knew the minute I set it down it would be gone forever. I also never wore it for fear of losing such an amazing present. Lord knows where it is now.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Austin Chronicals: A Brief Reminder

Ridding the house of cockroaches was not where my exciting adventures in the entomology of Austin ended. When you live in a eighty year old house in a hot and humid place, it is a good day when you can recognize what it is you are killing, scooting past on the porch, or (sometimes) scooping up and making it the neighbors problem.

Is that fuzzy caterpillar on the porch poisonous? Not sure, run away.

Should I leave the porch light on so I can see to put my key in the lock, or leave it off so I'm not accosted by June bugs before I can get in the door? Leave it off.

What the hell just crawled through the tiny gap in a closed window and is now on my pillow? Don't know, but kill it now before it bites you in your sleep.

However, not once did I see one of these:

That, was discovered by a friend's dog while she made dinner inches away from it. Evidently, the Texas version isn't poisonous, but they also come in pairs...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buffy vs. Twilight

What was that? You don't think I'm really that much of a nerd because I like buying school supplies? Ha, ha! Have I forgotten to tell you about my love of all things vampire? It's true. I blame it on a pubescence that coincided with the paperback release of Interview with the Vampire. Oh, and because Joss Whedon is awesome.

To prove my point, I sneakily watched part of this video at work, and then made my husband watch it with me again last night, just so I could see it on his shiny macbook without buffering interruptions:

I admit it. I love Twilight. Yes, yes, it has some problems which I'll get in to later (that post is a doozy) but VAMPIRES! Four books of 600+ pages of VAMPIRES! Okay, okay, the movie wasn't so great. None of them were really pretty enough to be vampires, and the grey/blue wash made me feel cold the whole time I watched it.

Which is why this video so freaking fantastic, because while I have a soft spot for Bella, my heart (and feminist principles) belong to Buffy. Though, I have to agree with Amanda at The Sexist, Buffy did make some questionable choices in dudes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Urban Umbrella Etiquette

New rule: since the majority of the population seems to have no idea of how much space they take up in the universe, let alone how a giant piece of nylon and wire increases their circumference, and that said piece of nylon and wire is most likely directly a my eye level, everyone must get one of these:

Of course, getting one would still require being aware of how much space you take up in the universe.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Snips, Snails, Sugar and Spice


As Eric Stoller notes, this is a perfect set up for a study of the socialization of gender. Boys draw fire engines! Girls draw ballerinas!

The inanity in this exercise is even more clear because I'm going to guess that the publisher decided to make the "boy's" red and the "girl's" blue to de-emphasize the ridiculous stereotypes being employed. However, all it does is underscore those ridiculous stereotypes. Blue did not always equal boys and pink did not always equal girls. In fact it used to be just the opposite:

When colors were first introduced to the nursery in the early part of the 20th century, pink was considered the more masculine hue, a pastel version of red. Blue, with its intimations of the Virgin Mary, constancy and faithfulness, was thought to be dainty. Why or when that switched is not clear, but as late as the 1930s a significant percentage of adults in one national survey held to that split.

Pseudo science can try as they might, but these are not "natural" tendancies. They are taught from day one.


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