Friday, February 20, 2009

Shoe Lust

If only I had $400 to spend on a pair of shoes....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lovely quote of the moment:

From Kim Chernin's "My Life as a Boy:"

"I wonder if anyone will ever tell all there is to be told about women. Women can be close without being sexual, sexual without being passionate, passionate without being erotic, erotic without making a physical claim to the beloved, and they can be all these together with such subtle sensual passage from laughter to confession to whispered intimacy that no one in the world could say where friendship leaves off and love begins."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Identity, or Why It's So Cool Being Queer.

Identity is a funny thing. For a large portion of my life (i.e. the straight-ish portion), I never questioned the identity I'd been given. I was a girl, so obviously I was going to wear my hair long, wear makeup, and generally try to look pretty. I never felt quite right in my own skin, though. Never anything overt, it was so subtle a discomfort, in fact, that I didn't even notice it until I discovered what being comfortable with myself feels like. 

After I came out, and through the course of my Women's and Gender Studies classes, I began playing with what my identity, rather than the identity that I had been given--and always assumed I would "grow into"--really is. I cut off all my hair and discovered that faux-hawks are just a little too butch for me, so I grew it back out. I stopped wearing makeup and realized that without at least two different kinds of eyeliner, I don't look right to myself. I started fulfilling all my piercing plans I'd had for so long, but had resisted because my boyfriend didn't like them (body modification as identity deserves, and will receive, a post of its own). I rethought and rediscovered how I wanted to look, what I wanted to do, and who I wanted to be. And I have to tell you, I have never felt more liberated than the first time I didn't demurely reject a frat boy's advances and instead told him to fuck off. 

 The moment it dawned on me that perhaps there was more to me than I had assumed, that maybe my identity wasn't the same identity I'd been offered, was a moment of freedom. Suddenly, I had permission to explore all the different ways I could interact with people, society, and myself. I got to decide things. Things like whether I really wanted to wear makeup or not (turns out, only eyeliner), or if I wanted to be the cuddler or the cuddlee, or whether or not push-up bras were really necessary all the time (certainly not). And it doesn't matter that I ended up choosing some things that are in line with society's expectations because I got to choose them.

The freedom that comes with consciously choosing what my identity is is utterly intoxicating. I am still slightly awe-struck every time I consider precisely what it is I'm doing: I'm actively participating in the construction of my identity. Society constructed an identity for me, and I am currently pulling it apart, inspecting the pieces, discarding some, reworking others, and I'm finally, finally comfortable with the way I fit into the world. 

So, why is it so cool being queer? Because being queer gave me permission to say "Fuck socially constructed roles, I can do it better." Because gender roles don't matter. Because now I recognize the heteronormative bullshit that saturates this culture, and I recognize all the ways in which people undermine it all the time. Because if said bullshit can be undermined, there are a thousand other proscribed behaviors, characteristics, and scripted societal interactions that can be undermined, too. Because I am aware of the weight of the subtle restraints placed on every intersection of every group and I don't have to be restrained anymore. And, more than anything, because no matter what else happens, I know myself through and through; I was the architect of this Identity, and I stand by my work. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blog To-Do List.

So I've had a few half ideas about good posting topics, but I keep forgetting them, so now I'm starting a list. I do love lists so...

-Lupus and the struggles that inevitably come with chronic illness.

-Inspiration and my never-ending search for it.

-Vegetarianism as identity, and when and how certain character traits suddenly become your Identity.

-My recent puzzling about gender and identity. 

-Fun things I'm learning in my Gender and Communications class.

-Tipping the Velvet: Why the book is amazing and why "tipping the velvet" is such a lovely phrase.

edit: -"Coraline" and feminism: I knew I should've been taking notes.

That is all. I'm heavily dosed with Nyquil, so it's time for bed. I will get cracking on my To Do list as soon as I have the chance. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kitty Karma

Let's rewind, shall we, to October 8th, 2007. I am awoken at 9 am by my roommate pounding on my door. "Anna, get down here. I found a kitten. She's freezing, I think she's blind, and I have no idea what to do with her. Help!" I stumble into the living room to find a tiny, scared kitten who is covered in fleas. Her eyes are swollen and crusted closed and the end of her tail is broken at a 45 degree angle. I skip class to take her to the vet and discover that this creature, at four weeks old (and runty, no less), wouldn't have lasted through the night had my roommate's dog not seen her. She's scrawny and hypothermic and the sweetest little kitten I've ever met.  

Today, Alice is a ninja. She's a beast. She's a wonderful creature with a great sense of humor and a generally sarcastic attitude. Pretty much, she's me, only a cat. And her broken tail? One of the most charming things about her. (That picture is Alice looking devious...as usual).

So, following my cat-karma, last night my roommates and I took in a stray cat who was outside, crying, and cold. He's absurdly sweet. One of the most affectionate cats I've ever encountered, although none too bright. He is reminiscent of my childhood pet in his sweetness and intellect. The part that I found...interesting, for lack of a better word, is that this new fellow has a bend in his tail, as though it's been broken, like Alice does.

(Here he is, sleeping on me as I study for finals, so sweet).

Friday, November 28, 2008

That time of year again...

The time of year where Facebook statuses range from curse words to random letters resulting from beating the keyboard with frustration. When you can pick out college students on the street by the look of fear in their eyes or the sweats they've clearly been wearing for days. This time of year, it is not uncommon to see 20-somethings muttering vocabulary words under their breath or jumping at the slightest noise. That's right. Finals.

I am currently strung so tightly that I'm having nightmares about failing classes I don't have. I have blocked out all the work I need to do because everytime I think about my To-Do List, my heart starts racing and I feel like I might pass out. The only thing keeping me sane is knowing that if I survive Finals, I am going to get a new piercing. Bribery is important. I feel like even if I didn't sleep at all between now and the end of Finals, I still wouldn't have enough time to get everything done. Maybe if I was writing my papers instead of updating my blog...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A friendly message from your neighborhood barista:

-For starters, unless you are in Starbucks, don't order a Venti anything. It just makes you sound like a tool. Which you sort of are if you insist on ordering a Grande Caramel Macchiato at your locally-owned, non-franchised cafe.

-While we're on the topic of Caramel Macchiatos, they're caramel vanilla lattes. From what I've been told, the only distinction is the order that everything's put in the cup. I understand that this is news to quite a few people, and generally I don't judge you for ordering something you like at Starbucks somewhere else, considering that you don't know the difference. This is really just an FYI point.

-Don't assume your barista remembers you. Unless said barista remembers your drink of choice consistently, it's a safe bet that they won't recognize you outside of the coffee shop. Or in the coffee shop, for that matter. A lot of people drink coffee. We can't remember all of you.

-On that note, it is terribly disconcerting when someone continues a conversation with you whilst you are making their coffee beverage that you don't recall starting. Don't blindside us like that, it's just unfair. At least preface the continuation of a conversation with a reminder of what we were talking about originally. Otherwise, we're left flailing in the dark, attempting to not be rude while trying to figure out who the fuck you are and what on earth you're talking about.

-Don't be the regular that we hate. Don't be a snot. Don't be rude to the person that you expect to make your coffee several times a week. Just don't. If you aren't going to tip the baristas at your cafe of choice, at least be polite. It wouldn't hurt to ask our names, or at the very least, ask how we're doing. Fake interest if you can't be sincere about it. I don't feel like I'm asking a lot, just common courtesy towards the people who feed your caffeine addiction.

-It pays off to be a regular that we like. It gets you extras (chocolate in your chai for free, the slightly larger "small" mug), cappucinos made to your precise dryness specifications, and the bigger piece of coffee cake. If you're nice to us, we won't even mind making your obscenely specific beverage (one and a half shot latte with one pump hazelnut and one pump vanilla in a 16 ounce cup, no foam, extra hot, for example).

-Don't try to order while you're on the phone. This should go without saying, and really, it applies to all people in the service industry. Don't motion at the size you want and mouth your order. We are human beings. Unless you want your coffee more than you want to talk to your mom, you don't get coffee. If you insist on ordering while on the phone, I will purposely mess up your drink and/or over-charge you. It's the principle of the thing.

Edit: Don't ask us to make 2% milk if we have non-fat and whole milk. This half and half business is bullshit. You can't taste the difference, even if you think you can. Don't be a pain in the ass. You're just being ridiculous.