Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
These are the lucky birds that live with friends of mine (top is Pearl, a cockatiel, and bottom is the canary). They live far out in the boonies, on the tip top of giant hill, in an old house that they think was once a brothel. A couple years ago one of them was walking along their driveway when they spotted a cockatiel in a nearby tree.
Calling to it, they managed to get it inside. Pearl hasn't stopped loving them since. Let me defone 'loving': it can be alarming to suddenly have a bird swoop down, screaming at you as it looks for a place to land. But once you realize she's just trying to snuggle, its not so bad. Above is a rather ironic picture, I think, especially considering the page I was reading when she landed on my knee.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I hadn't heard batforlashes until this video showed up on notcot. It won music video of the year on videos.antville.org (who I had also never heard of, but that's besides the point.)
This video is cool. So cool I probably shouldn't even watch it. If this video was a popular kid in school, it wouldn't let me sit near it.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Photo by Lewis W. Hine (1908).
My first assignment for a Transcending Gender class was to find an image that represents Gender in the Future. About halfway though the assignment, I realized it might make a pretty good blog, too.
If I am absolutely and utterly forced to pick only a single image, it ought to be the image above by Lewis Hine of seafood workers in Dunbar, Louisiana during the 1900s. While clearly historical, this image is to me the most accurate (ironic?) depiction of the future of gender.
Despite women accounting for over 47% of the US labor force, issues of childcare are still regularly perceived as a woman’s issue (as opposed to a parenting issue, or simply, an issue). I predict the future of gender will look much as it always has, with women bearing the responsibility for both the productive and reproductive needs of a society.
I find it impossible to pick only one image to depict the future of gender, however. Gender is so loaded; it is fluid in places, sticky in others, it is highly individualized and yet it is also completely culturally prescribed, it is young, old, male, female, everything that is neither and both—
Instead of a single image of Gender in the Future I propose a series of images, depicting respectively the ideal, the immediate, and the probable.
I would like to believe that gender roles in the future will become more mutable, more fluid, with less emphasis on opposing and gendered characteristics and more emphasis on personal characteristics, something that might be represented with the image above from April77's 2007 women's clothing line. The model is almost entirely androgynous- the only indications of gender are the slim profile and painted lips. Free from the constraints of polarized gender characteristics we are allowed to examine our lives as people, and not merely as women or as men.
However, despite my own desire for an androgynously gendered future I think it is more likely that images of consumption will better depict the reality of gender in the future. This photo is from Marc Jacobs, a designer I watch for his astoundingly sexist advertisements (for your edification the legs belong to Victoria Beckham, also known as Posh Spice). This image represents the immediate future of gender- that sexuality, femininity, and masculinity, are defined by what we buy. Not only is gender commodified, but it manages to lower women’s status in the process, reducing the whole female body to certain parts, metaphorically and literally minimizing the focus on the whole woman to her more ‘desirable’ aspects.
Yet even this image of Posh Spice’s legs is lacking, failing to account for the majority of lived experience because it sells images of gender and sexuality to only those who can afford it. The majority of humans will find gender in the future more like these next two images, by photo-essayist Jan Sochor:
The most probable images of the future of gender to me show that women and men both actively play part in economic activities, each toiling in their roles as servant and soldier. The ubiquitous phallic symbol of army rifle clutched to the bosom of a stoic and uniformed solider is in perfect juxtaposition to the equally stoic and supplicant female mine worker. Male will be defined in opposition to female, solider to supplicant. Both male and female must toil, each chained to their own gender role, each too busy with work to have time to question or deconstruct dominate gender roles. These images of the male solider and female mine worker are to me the status quo of gender, and even recognizing the constant and infinite fluidities of culture and identity, the most likely images of gender in the future.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I made these cupcakes the other night- first time I'd used self-rising flour, first time i made dessert with sour cream- first time I layered anything and my god, have i been missing out. Moist in places, chewy in others these have to be one of the best things I've ever made. I tried to double the recipe and ended up tripling it (what a shame, right?).
It was fairly cheap and easy, I'll be making it again.
Pecan Coffeecake Cupcakes
½ C. (4oz. /125g) granulated sugar
½ C. (4oz. /125g) butter
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ C. (7 oz. 21g) self rising flower, sifted (or wisk, like I did)
¼ tsp. baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
¾ C (6fl. Oz/ 180ml) sour cream
2/3 C (3 ½ oz./ 100g) chopped pecans
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbs. plus 1 Tsp. firmly packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
In a food processor with a stainless-steal blade, combine the sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, flour, baking soda and sour cream. Process until smooth 1-2 min. (Or, you could do what I did and beat it all together with an electric hand mixed and steely resolve).
Distribute half of the batter evenly into a silicone or greased metal muffin pan.
In a small bowl, combine the pecans, cinnamon and brown sugar. Sprinkle half over the batter in the pan. Cover with remaining batter, and then sprinkle with the remaining pecan mixture.
Bake the cupcakes until they spring back when lightly touched- 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan for five minutes. Serve warm, or transfer to a wire rack to cool.
yet another thrilling find from fabulist- a rotoscoped 1979 music video from Tom Waits. "A series of unfortunate events prohibited the film from ever being released or sold commercially, consequently catapulting it into obscurity... until now, thanks You Tube!" I concur.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Adele's song Chasing Pavements. The video is a little freaky, but Adele's so good it doesn't much matter.
I don't know what it is with the Brits lately, but they keep turning out beautiful pop music I actually enjoy listening to. I heard Adele over at Fabulist, who (to use a phrase they use frequently) is made of awesome.
Monday, January 14, 2008
photo by flicker user lulubryon
Cover art meme to satisfy your inner rocker. Instructions to make your own CD cover art, found at subpar.
1. The first article title on the page is the name of your band.
2. The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.
3. The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
There's a flicker site dedicated to the meme, here.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I can not get this song out of my head. Soko is so cute, and so is this song (but maybe i just have a thing for tiny French brunettes singing death threats).
and she kind of looks like my cousin Tessa. now that I think about it.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I entered a contest awhile ago at one of my favorite food blogs- Tastespotting, and won a new camera!
I've always been a huge fan of Notcot, such cutting edge posts, so five-seconds-ahead on the cool-ness scale--
They seem to be as obsessed with detail and design as I am-- the buttons and letterpress card they sent just made my day!
So supposedly this baby goes underwater. I think I'm going to visit my friends with fish tanks this weekend....