Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Critically Aware That We Need More Critical Awareness.

Are there some people who exist in this world that are just so incredibly stupid that it would be impossible for them to change?

How does it happen?

Are they not encouraged to read as young children?

Are they so in love with their own boring existence that they think they are in fact perfect and everyone else around them is wrong?
I have this conspiracy theory, okay, it's not really a conspiracy, but most people, the "average" citizens of the United States perpetuate "norms" without even taking time to decide whether those norms are actually functional and beneficial to society at large. By doing this they stand-up for values, and really stick behind them, without even using their own brains to decide if they even like them. This is what causes stagnation and lack of positive transformation.

Why aren't the youth taught how to critically analysis situations? Because then adults will lose their "power" over them. Which, if people are not taught how to examine or deconstruct then they'll go on believing FOX news, or the idea that feminists are the EVIL ones, or even that any other race other than their own is inferior (though most will have learned not to say it out loud).

So I'm wondering...can the general public, on a large scale, come to critically examine the space we live in, and with that examination find ways to improve upon it?

What would it take for a jackass misogynist who calls feminists' cunts because he can't handle his own manhood to learn that we're not out to cut off his dick?

We're actually here to help make the world a better place for everyone.

Obviously there is the fear of the unknown, the fear that their comfort zones will be rudely taken away, that they will no longer be given all the great luxuries in life--like the ability to walk down the sidewalk without a concern in the world.

So in the end, does it come down to all of us engaged citizens to just sort of ignore all the trash going on in "average" land and try to make changes on our own?

How do we get those who seem impossible, who seem downright stupid to open their minds?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Get Your Holiday Drink On With These Easy Cocktail Recipes.

I don't know about any of you, but I sure like to have a long-extended buzz over the holidays. Why not spice up the drinking with some of my favorite winter recipes.

Holly Jolly Hangover, Surprise!
1 part vodka (can be flavored)
1 part midori (melon liquor)
2 parts club soda, tonic water or a 7UP like beverage
splash of lime juice
garnish with maraschino cherries.

Put it in a regular glass over ice. Enjoy.

Apple-Jacked Cider

1 part dark rum
1 part cinnamon schnapps
3 parts apple cider
garnish with cinnamon stick or slice of apple

Can warm up the cider then add the liquor or pour it all over ice depending on your mood.

Pomegranpagne Celebrate!

1 Shot of pomegranate liquor
Pour into glass
Fill with Champagne
garnish with lemon twist (or just drink it quickly).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let's Party Like We're Grandmas.

As I've gotten older I often wake up, hung-over, wondering why I did that again.

I mean seriously. Why did I do that again, knowing that I was going to feel like shit the entire day?
And another thing. Why do we go to bars?

I don't get it.

We go to the bar with a group of people, sit around with that group of people, only talk to that group of people, while judging all the other groups of people sitting around judging the other groups of people.

And for what? A future of bad hearing, debt, and liver cancer?

Wouldn't it make more sense for the group to just hang out at one of the members' houses? It's quiet. You can play the music you like, and generally it's cheaper (that is, if everyone BYOB's and doesn't mooch off of host's stock).

Also...it can be done earlier...so we can get to bed at a decent hour.

Old grannie, you call me?

I like bingo.

I like Wheel of Fortune.

I like blue hair.

I like crocheted kleenex boxes. (not really).

I can't wait until I'm old and get to live in one of those community centers where we have weekend dances, where I won't have to leave the building to get my hair did or eat dinner.

I mean, I can wait. But I'm very excited for it. (yes I should probably just go live in a commune...whatever).

Anyway, I digress. Is it so wrong to want to be social and yet want to not waste the entire next day? I don't think so.

Control you suggest.

Well, even if I don't drink as much but we're still out until 3 a.m. — we're still out until 3 a.m. And I like to get a good 8 to ten hours of sleep.

But it's like some people can't seem to become fun until they think they're parents have gone to bed or something. I mean hello. They. Don't. Care. They were once almost just like you, and if they were just the opposite of you, why do you care, they sound like assholes?


What's better than a good heated debate over cyborgs, or the art of being a hipster, or eating cheese? Or whatever weird topics people in circles seem to come up with while drinking. It's hard (though possible) to have these discussions in bars, but it's really easy to have them in someone's living room.

And if things get real steamy between certain people--a bedroom is only steps away. . .

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Are We All Over-Stuffed?

A friend recently accomplished the 100 Things Challenge. The idea: to only possess that which is completely necessary for living. 100 Things (or less). Everything else must go.

A part of me is really intrigued by this minimalist approach, as it says in Fight Club, "the things you own end up owning you."

But my friend also doesn't have a bed.
And this is where we part ways.

Obviously his 100 things would be completely different from mine (if I actually took it up); a bed would be my #1 priority—as I enjoy sleeping—perhaps a bit too much.

It's an interesting choice; I entirely support anyone who can do it. In fact, it may be the closest thing to anti-capitialism that I can think of. And I love anything anti-capitalism.
But I also love dumpster diving.

Thrift Store shopping.

Garage Sale-ing.

There are very few things in my apartment that have been bought "new." And they are almost entirely electronics--do I need my t.v., I probably don't need it, but I really don't mind having it.
Could I walk away from my apartment full of stuff with no regrets?

When the four-mile fire was creeping nearer I truly evaluated what I would take with me if I could only fill my car.

1) My computer
2) my journals
3) photo albums
4) certain clothing items

But that's stuff that can't be replaced. Not stuff one needs to live.

I guess my greatest fear is getting rid of my stuff and it just piling up in a landfill somewhere. Is that any better really? I mean it may de-clutter my life, but it doesn't create any less clutter in the world. And if I give it to someone else, aren't I just allowing them to become more cluttered as well?

A better goal for me may be to donate useful items that aren't useful to me to people I know need them, and to just not buy any more shit. It may be a good goal for most people to start with...perhaps ease into 100 things.

Overall, I think this is the perfect time to evaluate what one has, what one needs and what one should let go of.

The holidays in the United States are sadly a time for celebrating over-consumption, from stuff to food, but it doesn't have to be.

We can jointly make it more about connection and community, which, in my opinion, should be what it's all about anyway.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Vegan Day 21-25

Day 21 Dec. 5
Breakfast: left-over vegan pizza
Lunch: baked potato with home made salsa, and broccoli with garlic and balsamic vinegar
Snacks: crackers, white beans, popcorn
Dinner: Salad Wrap
Day 22 Dec. 6
Breakfast: 0
Lunch: Hapa tofu bowl
Snacks: edamame
Dinner: sweet potato/red onion tart

Day 23 Dec. 7
Breakfast: toast
Lunch: teriyaki tofu bowl
Snacks: apple
Dinner: potatoes

Day 24 Dec. 8
Breakfast: oatmeal
Lunch: quinoa vege bean surprise
Snacks: apple, grapes, pineapple
Dinner: black bean burgers with homemade potato wedges

Day 25 Dec. 9

Breakfast: toast with peanut butter and pineapple
Lunch: garden burger and fries (Mountain Sun)
Snacks: apple
Dinner: salad with stuff in it

Thoughts: I'm beginning to lean more towards my friend's viewpoint of being a "non-strict" vegan as opposed to a "strict vegetarian." What that means is that I plan to make most meals vegan but if I occasionally have something with eggs in it or cheese or whatever I'm not going to cry myself to sleep.

This is also the case with products that contain animal-parts. I will make the gradual shift over into making sure most everything I have is animal-friendly, but again, I'm not going to beat myself up if my soap I bought 2 months ago has gelatin in it, why? Because I already bought it and I'm more about not being wasteful. In fact, I think my best diet would be that of a freegan. Mainly because I'd be saving money, I'd not be wasteful, and I could use my creativity to develop amazing meals out of weird findings. But, I'd also have to shop in dumpsters and have yet to gain the courage to sift through grocery stores' trash. (though I will do it some day, I swear).

Girls in Yoga Pants Smash the Patriarchy. Absurdity At its Finest.

So when I first started writing for elephant journal I was given an assignment to cover a website called girls in yoga pants. For some reason it's been incredibly popular, which is fine, except everyone who reads it has started attacking me personally, particularly my physical appearance.
Now, generally I have about a 80% comfort level with my body... I'm mostly confident, I workout, I eat decently, I comb my hair, I shower. Whatever. I don't really need the world to tell me I'm beautiful (though a few people here and there never hurts). What does hurt, though, is that people are perfectly okay with attacking other people instead of attacking the ideas. I'd at least find it tolerable if they just said my thoughts were wrong, or my idea was stupid, but saying that my boobs aren't tan enough and my posture is not straight enough, (basing this all on one picture) is absurd and pointless.

The point was that women who send in pictures of their asses are objectifying themselves. It's simple. When it's only your ass, and it's only for other people's sexual gratification, then your ass (hence you) are an object.

If we continue to argue about stupid meaningless things then we are just conforming to the oppressions that already bring us down.

Doesn't it seem strange that we gang up on each other instead of actually paying attention to the real issues?

My tan line is insignificant in the scheme of things. People outright choosing to degrade themselves and then calling it a personal choice, to me, are right in that it's a personal choice, but are wrong in that it is still degradation.

I'm sex positive, when the sex is positive. That is, when it's on an equal level and consensual (this can even include S&M etc. as long as everyone involved is doing it because it brings them pleasure).

But I don't think emailing pics off one's butt is positive. Because again, it's an objectification, and though some people may enjoy being objects, it's still not equal or consensual. As men again, are getting what they want at the price of women needing to be validated by them.

And when I write an article about girl in yoga pants being a problem of objectification it's pretty much complete bullshit to try to turn me into one.

It's an attempt to counteract the issue instead of admitting we have work to do.

It's letting the system tell people how to think (again and again) instead of using any critical analysis to deconstruct the situation and try to make it better.

It's defending the patriarchy. And in that defense oppression keeps chugging along, waving it's ugly head. Festering in the deep dark places of our psyche, telling us it's okay to argue about the insignificant things like the author's breasts, because she is wrong and Big Daddy is right. Always. Right.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Karma is for REAL!!!!!!

So, this Karma thing must be some serious shit. Oh, yeah, I told myself I'd stop cussing so much.

So, this karma thing must be some serious poo balls. Why? Well here's why.
The other day, someone commented on a blog post of mine, basically saying that I need to focus on my "own problems" and then I, of course, said something snarky out loud, which was, "I would except I don't have problems, that's why I make fun of other people."

Then my grandma calls and tell me about her car being possessed. She said how she was out getting groceries and her car horn kept going off, like a demon car or something. She got behind people at stop signs and her car horn kept honking and honking. And of course I laughed, as it seemed like a scene straight out of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Which made me want to write a tv show. Though that would be like the only situation I'd have to go on.

So here's where the karma comes in. Make fun of my life being "problem-free" + make fun of grandma's car = problem with car.

So yeah, my car ended up having a lot of car sex with my friend Dan's car. I was beginning to think it was addicted to his battery power (which I suppose was true). But now, after taking the car to rehab it should be fixed.

And now I will only do nice things and say nice positive comments about life so as to keep my life problem-free for real.

Ha! (I doubt that's even possible even for the most positive of people, they just don't take it as seriously).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Why Yes I'm Wearing Underwear, Thank You For Your Concern.

So at the bar Saturday night, this drunk guy wearing a holiday snowflakes sweater, was all alone playing a game of pool by himself. Somehow, later, he ended up talking to me and though I thought he was mentally retarded I played nice....Until he asked me, "Are you wearing any underwear?"

And this is where a drinking buddy comes in handy. Because my drinking buddy could have encouraged me to punch him in the face, because I really wanted to. But, no, instead I just tore him a new asshole, which may have hurt more than my punching abilities would have (I have practiced taebo for many years, so the double-time to the forehead could have been a killer, but that's a major "could have been"). But seriously.

This is the problem with breeder bars.

This is why boystown was the only place I drank in Chicago, because gay men don't ask if women are wearing underwear or not.

I seriously don't know how that holiday sweater dude made it out of the bar in one piece.

I'm still just really curious as to why it matters to dudes whether or not a woman has on underwear. I mean, I was wearing jeans so even if I didn't it's not like he could have gotten a "sneak peak" and even if I weren't it's not like I would have shown him anything anyway.

Why do some men think they're privileged enough to have their porn fantasies come to life? It's like those assholes who catcall women on the street, what woman has ever stopped and fucked one of those guys?

What did that dude think was going to happen? That I'd say, "oh big boy, you're so sexy, of course I'm not wearing underwear, hot girls never wear underwear, don't you know that? tee hee tee hee, want to see? Follow me to the bathroom and I'll fuck your stupid-retard brain out, tee hee."


And people think we're "post-feminism." Sorry but the constant objectification of women proves that a post-feminist world is still far far away.

(to clarify, it doesn't make it "equality" to objectify men either, it just makes more bullshit drama.)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Vegan Day 12-20

Day 12 Nov. 26th

breakfast/dinner: left overs

lunch= I failed and had a slice of pizza (such is life)

Day 13 Nov. 27th

breakfast/lunch: left-overs

Dinner: tofu scramble from Turleys

Day 14 Nov. 28th

more thanksgiving leftovers for lunch and dinner (there were a lot)

Day 15 Nov. 29th

Lunch: chic’n salad wrap with edamame

snacks: apple

dinner: salad with vegetable strudel and fruit bowl (pineapple, black berries grapes)

Day 16 Nov. 30th

skipped food and had a coffee breakfast (slick)

Lunch Happa vege roll + vege dumplings

snacks: apple

Dinner: quinoa bean burrito

Day 17 Dec. 1st

breakfast: toast

Lunch: quinoa bean burrito

snack: grapes, edamame,

Dinner: sweet potato and red onion tart

Day 18 Dec. 2

Breakfast: quinoa bean burrito

Lunch: edamame, chic'n sandwich

Snacks: apple

Dinner: chili and tortilla chips

Day 19 Dec. 3

Breakfast: cereal

Lunch: baked potato and broccoli drizzled with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with sunflower seeds

Snacks: P.B. and whole wheat crackers

Dinner: Vegan Pizza from Sun Delis

Day 20 Dec 4

Breakfast: left-0ver pizza

lunch: left-over vege strudel

snacks: grapes, orange

dinner: Vegan Meetup Potluck food (I made quinoa dish and caramelized onion breadsticks.)

Thoughts: So I've slipped up once or twice. Once being a slice of pizza and twice being eating candy without really paying attention. It's seems slightly difficult when company is present, not when I'm cooking, but when we're out at a restaurant, especially once which I'd have to get a whole pizza catered to me (which I could have done but felt uncomfortable). Plus some people just don't get it, and I already have so many battles to fight: capitalism, the patriarchy, assholes. I'm just adding to my list, which is becoming really long. I'm cool with not being mainstream, but what comes with anti-conformity is what I call difficulty. And by difficulty I mean constantly arguing and defending myself (which is the whole point in getting other people to change etc.) but it's hard work. As they say, "it's about progress not perfection."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Angry Music for Angry People.

Sometimes it's good to let all that anger out. And why not do it while jamming out to some angry music!

Here are my Top Picks.

For a Bitter Angry:

Try Fiona Apple

For: A F U to the World:

Try Slipknot

For an Angry Feminist Rant at the Patriarchy:

Try Bikini Kill

For an Angry Dance Rage:

For Cynical and Constant Anger:

Try Sleater-Kinney

To Overcome Anger:

Try singing Salt 'N Pepa

Friday, December 3, 2010

How to Be a Slut in 3 Easy Steps.

I was reading this Jezebel article about sluttiness and according to a recent study being slutty could just be part of certain people's DNA.

The claim was that people with the dopamine variant DRD4 have higher "thrill-seeking" motivations. In other words, it feels really good for them to take big risks.

Now, I don't really know about the accuracy of this study (they only had 181 participates) but I do know people who are sluttier than others and I don't know if it really has to do with DNA or if it's more of a cultural/social response.

What does it really mean to be a slut anyway?

Can being slutty ever be a good thing?

I'd like to think that there is a time and a place for sluttiness. And whether or not a person is walking around with the DRD4 variant, those seeking pleasure (safely and respectfully) shouldn't be punished or shamed.

Never Been a Slut?

Here are 3 Easy Steps.
1) Find a partner (or two or three...)
2) Have some sort of sexual exploration with partner/s (safely)
3) Thank the partner/s for a wonderful time (if it was wonderful), leave, go home, shower, and enjoy the rest of your day.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

"What's Your Deepest Darkest Secret?"

I remember in my youth having "sleep-overs" with my BFF and we'd talk all night long about anything and everything.

I remember slumber parties with handfuls of girls, chatting, laughing, playing games. But the biggest game of the night was always a question:

"What's Your Deepest Darkest Secret?"

And we'd all have one, even though we were all like 11, 12, 13. The secrets were rarely very deep nor very dark, but they were ours to share with each other.

I think that the curiosity to discover other people's lives decreases with age.

Or maybe we want to discover, but now that we're older just coming out and asking what someone's secrets are can lead to very dangerous territory--either because you'd have to find them help or it would be TMI (aka some weird STD or fetish or clown obsession etc).

Sometimes when I chat with people I feel blind-sighted. They ask me a question, a simple question and I can't think of any type of intellectual response. Or even a dumb response. I just sort of mumble something, then, later when I lay in bed late at night I come up with a Larry David line or a Janeane Garofalo response and I think, damn, I should really become a comedian, if only I could reply faster, quicker, easier than I do in public.

But maybe there's something to the art of conversation. It's difficult with facebook. You can know what "friends" likes without ever asking them. Friends update their problems or happinesses before even anyone even sees them in "live" format. So coming up with things to talk about becomes an exercise in creativity.

And because I love a good conversation (and a good slumber party, hint hint), I've come up with ten questions to spark more intriguing dialogue if you are like me and ever get stuck (or bored).

1) Have you ever been in a fight, (a physical fight)?

2) Where’s the weirdest place you’ve done it?

3) If you could be any feminist which feminist would you be and why?

4) If Mother Teresa and Jesus were in a mud wrestling competition who do you think would win and why?

5) If you could do it all over again (and you couldn't pick going into the current field you’re in) what would you pick instead and why?

6) Who is your favorite philosopher and why?

7) Who is your favorite feminist and why? or If you were a riot grrrl song, what would you be?

8) If you were magically transformed into a alcoholic beverage, what would you be and why?

9) If you could pick anywhere in the world to live, where would you choose and why?

And if by this time the person seems, not so crazy, then hit'em with the big one:

10) What’s your deepest darkest secret?

Want to know mine?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Music Throwback Nostalgia? No Thank You.

I woke up with Wonderwall stuck in my head. I even started singing it in the bathroom. And I was like wtf?

I remember hearing it like two weeks ago at a bar, which really got me thinking.

I suppose it's obvious that bars are now playing the music that matches our age demographic, that which we listened to in our "nostalgic" years.

But could we just not?

These songs are depressing. Most of the songs that were popular (and close to decent), when we were say freshman in high school, are total downers. I mean, Hello Alanis! It was a real downy time and I really don't want to go back there. Especially when I'm drinking (it being a depressant and everything).

Yes, I know, you're thinking, what about the Spice Girls? What about the Backstreet Boys? Britney? N'Sync? Christina? Hansen?!?

Can we just sort of keep them all locked in that bubble in time? Can they only play back in our memories and not actually while we're making new ones?

Just saying.