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Hey yo 2012

5 Jan

I’ve considered deleting this blog altogether, but it is such a nice, healthy outlet. It’s funny how that parallels my feelings about therapy. Lately, I’ve been considering stopping my weekly runs to see a therapist; but have yet to pull the plug because it’s a positive, mindful place to be. Also, I feel like if I stop going, I’m going to regret it and be screwed into dealing with my anxiety and over-thinking by myself.

Anyway, I digress. Lately, I’ve been thinking about  Starting a Podcast. Podcasting is to radio as blogging is to the opinions page in the newspaper. It’s totally grassroot, mostly free and you can do/say whatever you want. Since I’ve been thinking about starting a podcast, this is what I would talk about in my podcast this week:

The story is these five baby girls were born in 1934, and were the first recorded occurrence of quintuplets surviving infancy. The Canadian government took guardianship of the quints shortly after their birth, claiming their parents unfit to care for the five babies. The government built “Quintland” across the street from the girls’ family home and made the everyday lives of the infants/babies/young adults into a tourist attraction. There were souvenirs and viewing areas at Quintland. The girls were surrounded by scientists, doctors, nurses and the curious public FOR YEARS! At one point, Quintland was more trafficked than Niagara Falls. So basically – the Canadian government profited from their lives. After many years, and a custody battle, the girls were released back to their parents, where they claimed their father sexually abused them (though, later in life, they disputed these allegations). They all moved out of the home at 18 and 2/5 died in early adulthood – one from a stroke and one from a seizure. Another passed away in her 60s from cancer. There are only 2 remaining sisters alive and NO ONE HAS MADE A MOVIE ABOUT THIS! There were a couple television movies from what I can gather, and maybe an old movie, but HELLO! We need to hear/see this story!

  • Nootropics – what are they? do they work?
  • Why am I obsessed with song? FLO RIDA
  • I went antique shopping over the holidays – searching for Christmas presents. It got me thinking about the massive amount of things in the world. So many THINGS. And I love things, but where do they go and what happens to these things. I’m also reading a book, The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal, which discusses this a bit so far. What is my role in things? Do things have to be tied to consumerism?
  • Upcoming vacation in Hawaii with my sister, who is in Afghanistan right now

The “Daddy’s Girl”

6 Apr

The first time I noticed a girl outwardly claiming to be a “Daddy’s Girl,” I was in high school. This chick wore a tee-shirt announcing, in gold applique cursive, she and her poppa got along well.

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In college a fellow classmate wore a gold chain with a “Daddy’s Girl” charm attached.

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In the past few weeks, I’ve seen several tattoo-clad ladies, with “DADDY’S GIRL”  splayed across their flesh. 

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All of this “Daddy’s Girl” business makes me feel weird and it also makes me uncomfortable when anyone over 12 calls their dad, “daddy.” Let me be clear here. There is a difference between “daaaaddy” and what sounds like “deddy.” Calling your paternal figure “Daddy” is extremely common in the South, and when Southerners say it, it sounds like “Deddy.” My grandmother, from the South, has forever referred to her parents as Mother and Daddy. I never think that’s strange. That’s like me calling my dad, dad. But, if you are from anywhere other than the South and you call your dad “daddy,” I tend to cringe.

Additionally, there are such things as “daddy’s girls.” That seems to be fine too. If you get along with your Dad – awesome. If you have a special bond with your father – rad. If you prefer your pops over you mom – fabulous. But if you adorn your attire with announcements of your affections, it’s kind of repulsive and sends me into a tizzy of confusion and caution.

The assumption in claiming your “daddy’s girl”-ness, is that you are spoiled and privileged – even if your not. It’s like, “My daddy loves me sooooo much he bought me this tee shirt and Volkswagen Jetta to match.”

Also, in a strange way, it shows you father’s ownership over you. You aren’t your own girl, your daddy’s. 

I can’t try hard enough to establish myself outside of my parents. It’s not that I don’t love and admire and adore my mom and dad, because I do. But, also, I’m trying hard everyday to become my own person. To identify as anyone’s “girl” makes me shiver with fear. Identifying as a “daddy’s girl” would only make me feel young and small.

I cannot ignore the current sexualization of the word “daddy.” If someone my age says, “My Daddy gave me this car,” it freaks me out because I totally interpret this to be sexual. 

I think Freud probably had something to do with this. His popularization and idea of Oedipal relationships between parents and their offspring has sort of leaked into everyday thinking about familial relationships. In fact, there is actually a book, Relative Intimacy: Fathers, Adolescent Daughters and Postwar American Culture by Rachel Devlin, that explores the history of “daddy’s girls” – what it meant then (1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s) and what it means now. (Great article here!)

The most interesting part is what it currently means to be a “daddy’s girl.” Why do girls have this need? And why publicize it? I think Delvin is on the money (pardon the pun) when saying today, being a daddy’s girl is about commercialization. Most girls want their Dads to love them and thus buy them things to show it. If some chick is advertising that this is the relationship she has with her dad – other ladies get jealous, they desire that as well. It’s like any good clothing trend.

I hope this “Daddy’s Girl” attire sticks around as long as parachute pants did, but, something tells me it will be more like the fanny pack, continuously re-invented.

boys, video games, the simpsons & porn

7 Mar

I was listening to my favorite radio show a few weeks back, and the host (a new guy, Ian Punnett) was interviewing a Dr. Richard Sax. I’d never heard of the guy, but found the topic really interesting. Since the show, I’ve been thinking about it pretty much every day.

Dr. Sax was discussing “what’s happening to boys today,” and the book he wrote on the subject, called “Boys Adrift.” His research is driven by the fact that one third of men ages 22 -34 are still living with their parents (Sax attributes this data to the Census Bureau), and their sisters seem to be more successful than ever. And, according to Sax, this data shows these trends occuring across all demographics. Sax says it’s a combination of social and biological factors.

The good Doctor narrowed it down to five main components that are driving the decline of boys (this list is from his Web site):

Video Games. Studies show that some of the most popular video games are disengaging boys from real-world pursuits.

Teaching Methods. Profound changes in the way children are educated have had the unintended consequence of turning many boys off school.

Prescription Drugs. Overuse of medication for ADHD may be causing irreversible damage to the motivational centers in boys’ brains.

Endocrine Disruptors. Environmental estrogens from plastic bottles and food sources may be lowering boys’ testosterone levels, making their bones more brittle and throwing their endocrine systems out of whack.

Devaluation of Masculinity. Shifts in popular culture have transformed the role models of manhood. Forty years ago we had Father Knows Best; today we have The Simpsons.

I think about this a lot in my daily interactions with dudes who act like they would be doing me a favor if I gave them a blow job. It’s insane! Maybe I’m just an old-fashioned, angry,  single lady, or maybe I’m noticing something other people are too. Certainly, this does not apply to ALL guys … I guess it’s just a third of them, or maybe less, because I’m sure there are some decent dudes who still live with M & D.

semi-modern, i think.

18 Jan

I was just thinking, I should change the name of my blog to “A Taylored Stitch, A Semi-Modern Bitch.” Modern is too trendy. I definitely don’t encompass modern. I think I can stand with semi-modern though.

I’ve almost finished the book I’ve been reading since the summer. Well, it’s not like I have been continuously reading it… more like I read it for a week, stopped. And then picked it up a few days ago, and now, I’m almost done with it. This is good for several reasons. One: I can put it back on my room mate’s bookshelf and not be one of her hated “book stealers.” Two: I can read something else now without feeling guilty for not finishing it. And three: it’s a good book and I have learned a lot!

Whenever I have been spotted with said book, I receive much comment from those around me… “You’re reading THAT!…It’s so… conservative.” “I’m surprised you’re reading that.” “Isn’t that like, really, conservative?” “She [the author] is kind of crazy, right?” “How could you read that? It teaches capitalism.”

I was sort of confused by these questions, statements… but continued to read, with encouragement from the roomie. Academia can be so predictable … everyone has the same opinion about a book they’ve never read. And even if it was “conservative” or “capitalistic,” I could still learn a lot.

I won’t give a synopsis of it, because mine would be so drab, and I think Wikipedia does a pretty good job of it.  The book is The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand.

Here’s my favorite part:

“In what act or thought of his has there been a self? What was his aim in life? Greatness – in other people’s eyes. Fame, admiration, envy – all which comes from others. Others dictated his convictions, which he did not hold, but he was satisfied that others believed he held them. Others were his motive power and his prime concern. He didn’t want to be great, but to be thought great. He didn’t want to build, but to be admired as a builder. He borrowed from others in order to make an impression on others.”

Anyone familiar with Ayn Rand, knows her outspoken beliefs on laissez-faire capitalism and individualism. The Fountainhead definitely had these as recurring themes. I didn’t feel as if it were a political tyrade though – more of a really important critique on humanity. I wouldn’t describe myself as a capitalist or an individualist – but I read the above quote as if it were a bible verse for an evangelical christian. I mean, I wrote it in my planner, so I would have it for the whole year, handy. For me, this part wasn’t a political message, but a personal one. It’s what  do everyday: wrap my self-worth up in other’s expectations and ideas of success. Is it individualistic of me to think that sucks? Can I be selfish and selfless at the same time?

“That, precisely, is the deadliness of second-handers. They have no concern for facts, ideas, work. They’re concerned only with people. They don’t ask: ‘Is this true?’ They ask ‘Is this what others think is true?’ Not to judge, but to repeat. Not to do, but to give the impression of doing. Not creation, but show. Not ability, but friendship. Not merit, but pull. What would happen to a world without those who do, think, work, produce?”

Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters

16 Aug

Courtney Martin, one of the Feministing girls, recently wrote a book, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters. She was in Berkeley in June (totally bummed I missed it) and I recently caught this clip of her reading an excerpt from her book:

I’ve been totally self-obsessed lately, critiquing every part of myself: and the way the world sees me, the way I see myself, basically, who I am. (I’m told this is relatively normal at my age?!) Parts of what she read are along the lines of what I’ve been thinking lately. I have a full planner and an axiety disorder – I’m judgemental about myself and forgiving of others – I must get As – I must make money – I must make it look effortless – I get homesick – I am annoyed with this part of myself – I cry when I have serious conversations with my friends – I can never show enough humility – I got passed over for a job – Have I dropped out of the race? – I want a hug – I want to change the world – I want to sleep away the days – I would like to believe I love to be busy – I have no faith – I wish I could believe in a God.

I’m sure if I’m just being melodramatic … bits of this probably hit home with most everyone. It’s interesting, none the less. I would like to hear other’s thoughts!

Rank.

10 Jul

The garbage in my city (and surrounding towns) has not been picked up for going on three weeks. There has been a lock out of 500 garbage truck drivers since July 2, as Waste Management and Teamsters Union continue talks to preserve the contract that expired last month.

While my liberal self is all for Unions (and I encourage a strike until the contract is renewed) things are getting mighty stinky in these parts. The neighbor’s three week old dirty diapers greet me everytime I walk into my apartment, and it is not pleasant.  It has really got me thinking about the luxuries (like waste disposal, roads, sanitation) that I take for granted.

There is also this new thing that East Bay is ALL about, and that is composting. There are these “Green Bins” that the city has really encouraged it’s residents to use to dispose of not only yard clippings, but food scraps.

Now, as you can imagine, some really raunchy things start to happen after old fruit, meat and bread sits for three weeks in a plastic container in the sun. I have fully supported attempts to go green by ridding plastic bags and bottles out of cities… but urban composting… I just don’t know. I think one of the things about living in a city is that you don’t share the lifestyle of those in the country… like, you cannot ride your horse to the grocery store, you cannot get somewhere without passing through 45 million stop lights, and you cannot compost.

Rotting food in parking lots doesn’t just produce nasty smells, but it attracts maggots, flies and rats. It just ain’t right.

Special Gifts.

28 May

Beyond the able-bodied human gifts of seeing,hearing, touching, smelling and tasting, I have the privilege of two additional presents from God.

 

I cannot sense spirits or talk to beings in alternative universes but I have a talent for knowing when cops and/or clowns are close.

You see, when driving, I know exactly when to slow down without even looking in the rear view mirror or tracing the horizon for red and blue lights. I just know. I take my foot off the accelerator slightly, until the buggy slows to a speed within 5 miles of the posted limit. And, like magic, a cop appears. Either before me with a radar gun or behind me in a secretive Ford, the cops come out of the woodwork with the need to pull people over. BUT – it’s never me, because of my gift.

My clown sense is similar. I know when one is around and am never surprised (but boastful on how I predicted it) when I see a pink-haired, white-faced person making their way through a crowd.