Archive for the 'Random' Category

Hellooooooo Mrs. Jensen!

Pop Culture, Random 4 Comments »

I admit it…I love most things that people consider creepy or weird.  Tim Burton’s work?  Love it.  The costume design and special effects in that horrendous Jennifer Lopez film, The Cell?  Loved that too.  And admiring dirty, primitive folk art dolls is my saving grace when forced to shop at every country craft shop on the planet when visiting with my family.

So it was a given that after watching this Snickers Halloween ad, I found myself totally in love with the main character.

I wish Snickers cut the ad by about five or ten seconds, so viewers don’t know that the mystical lady is made up of some kids pulling a prank.  I love the character’s mismatched arms, missing fingers, extreme height, oversized bathrobe, over-the-top mask (heightened features and makeup, but no moving lips!), etc.  It bums me out that this very helpful creature is just a vehicle for kids to scare adults into giving out more Snickers on Halloween.

The other day in the car, Dan and I spent a good twenty minutes daydreaming about ways for the Snickers Lady to keep going year round.  Perhaps she pops up a county fair, chucking hot and scalding deep fried Snickers bars at unsuspecting passersby (I’m only helping!) or at a Dairy Queen, dumping far too many ground up Snickers into Blizzards.  Teehee.

Unfortunately the original costume for the Snickers Lady was auctioned off recently so she probably won’t be making any more appearances for the company, but at least the $1,900 raised went to Feeding America.

I’m Back…

Random, Writing 1 Comment »
And better than ever!  I’ve spent the past four months without my own computer, which is an exercise is pure torture for a pop culture/Internet fiend like myself.  After purchasing four laptops in the past five years, and all of them blowing up on me, I finally decided to plop down the big bucks and get what I’ve always wanted–a Macbook Pro!
I would like to introduce you to Gabrielle (insert angels singing):

I’ve convinced myself that a Macbook will revolutionize my entire life, especially my blogging and writing, so I’m out to prove that Macs are machines of the Gods.  If my hypothesis is correct, expect to see a lot more on this blog soon!

Love: How to Be Alone

Random 1 Comment »

I absolutely love this video.  That is all.

Why I Quit Facebook

Pop Culture, Random 2 Comments »

Three weeks ago I made a final decision about something that’s irked the shit out of me for well over a year—I deleted my Facebook account. I know that many Facebook users jumped ship a couple of months ago because of the company’s new Big Brotheresque privacy policies. While I disagreed with Facebook’s decision to essentially share personal information with companies all over the Internet, this was not the Number One (or Number Three) issue that sent me packing. I understand that Facebook is an essential tool for many people, but here are my cynical views about why I chose to cut the cord with Facebook:

Facebook is a huge time-suck. Ever since I started using the Internet in 1995 (ah, good old dial up AOL), I have always found umpteen ways to waste my life away on the World Wide Web. I’m a researcher by nature, so I find it exciting to look up trivial information all the time and usually at the expense of doing something much more productive. Wikipedia, IMDB, blogs, Twitter updates, etc. all provided hours of distraction from a term paper, freelance assignment, or my full-time job. I have garnered delicious recipes, article ideas, book recommendations, funny videos, academic research, or at least some trivial knowledge (Meryl Streep played the Rabbi in Angels in America!) from these sources. But Facebook was the worst online black hole because, at least for me, it provided nothing of value. Sure, it was nice to see a video of a friend’s son taking his first steps or photos of another friend receiving her PhD. But more often that not, I found myself reading personal information about a friend of a friend or stalking a crush I had in the 7th grade. I am the Queen of Wasting Time, but even I couldn’t justify it any longer.

Facebook made me feel like an adolescent again. And I’m not talking about the good parts of the teenager years. I’m talking about the catty, jealous, lonely, low self-esteem, Mean Girls moments of adolescence. In the real world, it stings less if you don’t invite me to your party, baby shower, or night out on the town. I probably won’t even notice, since as adults we’re so busy and lucky to see each other once a month. On Facebook the proof is splashed all over the screen of my computer, whether I want to see it or not. Wedged between Farmville announcements and status updates about potty training toddlers, I see dozens of photos from a 30th birthday party of someone I consider a good friend. Look at all those people having fun! Why wasn’t I invited? I hate myself!

Facebook was getting awkward as more people joined. In the months leading up to the deletion of my account, I had received friend requests from clients at my full-time job (a big social work no no), co-workers (umm, no thanks), staff I directly supervise (no way!), people who I never met but who worked once or twice with my fiancé (why?), and many relatives (thanks for the offer, distant cousin twice removed, but I’ll pass).

When I’m bored, I still find myself automatically clicking the space on my iPhone where the Facebook app once existed. And some of my friends have no idea how to contact me outside of Facebook; several left Happy Birthday messages for me through my fiancé’s Wall. But overall, I’m really happy about unplugging.

Happy Spring!

Gender, Media, Pop Culture, Random, Sex & Sexuality 4 Comments »

I am fortunate to have a really fun and full schedule from now through the beginning of May.  Shall we?

  • Every Week: Beginner Yoga Class!  Last week was my first experience taking a yoga class in person, not just popping in a DVD.  I was referred to Breathing Time Yoga in Pawtucket and I had a phenomenal experience.  Please do not think, like I did for the past 5+ years, that a yoga DVD is anything like the real live experience…it is 1000x better. 
  • 3/28 and 3/29: WAM! for a third year in a row.  I am excited about the workshops lined up for this year and I have to admit that I am most excited about Saturday night’s speaker/presenter Sarah Haskins.  Seriously, if you haven’t witnessed the brilliance that is Sarah Haskins, please click here, here, and here. 
  • Sometime in April: For my Capstone project, I have an awesome opportunity to present a series of workshops to queer youth at an organization called Youth Pride.  My workshops will be focused on discussing queer pop culture and working with youth to create our own media.  I cannot wait to start!
  • 4/24-5/3: Best friend visiting from far, far away (yay!) and week-long vacation from work (double yay!). 
  • 4/25 and 4/26: Camping trip with friends.  This is the first time I will be using a sleeping bag in over 15 years and possibly my first experience sleeping in a tent, depending on if I chicken out and use the cabin.
  • 5/2: Dalai Lama at Gillette Stadium.  Whoa, so excited.  His Holiness will be presenting two lectures—“Introduction to Buddhism: The Four Noble Truths” and “The Path to Peace and Acceptance.”  At the home of the Patriots.  Pure bliss. 
  • 5/8: Turn in my LAST term paper, thus finishing my LAST class as a graduate student.  At this point, the only thing standing in the way of my degree is my Capstone project.

A cautionary tale for writers…

Random, Writing 3 Comments »

 

It is never a good idea to bring your hyperactive brother, who has no book/magazine/computer to occupy his time, along with you to a coffeeshop.  I have been here for over two hours and have accomplished nothing. 

As an added bonus, I can’t understand anything he’s saying because I can’t see his lips.  He may be doling out great advice, like Mr. Wilson, but I can’t hear any of it.

Wanted: Space Solutions for My Books

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I think I’ve finally reached critical mass in terms of available spaces for my book collection.  My largest shelf looks like this:

Books

Notice the pile of books starting to grow on the top–the five that are stacked are a small part of the 29 books I need for my next class.  TWENTY-NINE new books!  As an aside, the retail price of my new books is about $580 so I’m searching for a way to score some in used format.

Elsewhere in the house, I have overtaken one of our DVD shelves with novels:

Books

My desk is weighed down with women’s studies books:

Books

And I’ve started using space on my desk top to store even more books–HELP!

Books

Le Sigh

Random, Writing 1 Comment »

After a series of unfortunate events (damn you TuitionPay!), it looks as though I will not be able to take a class this fall. Le sigh. When I signed up for another semester of TuitionPay, a company that makes one lump sum payment for your tuition and then bills you monthly, I chose the 10 month payment plan because it seemed like a much more affordable option than the usual 4 month plan. When I received my tuition bill last week, it stated that I still owed $1,700 for fall tuition—whaaaaat?
    

The sickly sweet TuitionPay representative told me that since I chose the 10 month payment plan, the company only releases half of my requested amount of money each semester and that there is no way to change it. Great. So, pending an anonymous donation from someone who wants to make an investment in a future gender/sexuality/media theorist (ha ha!) I am shit out of luck.
    

Besides all of the negative aspects of skipping a semester (not graduating until 2009, maybe missing out on a PhD level course, the missed euphoria of new books and syllabi, etc.), I am trying to look on the bright side. When I start back again this spring, my tuition will be fully paid up. I will have ten months to save money for my final three courses instead of just squeaking by each semester. And I can devote the 20+ hours a week spent on class and homework to other endeavors, such as:

  • Writing, getting published, making money. Apparently, I only work well with charts, graphs and goals. Otherwise, I spend my writing time on really important activities such as reading back issues of Entertainment Weekly and watching Hell’s Kitchen. My newest plan involves writing $500 worth of articles or query letters per week. I figure if I write at least $2,000 in articles or query letters each month, something has to actually pay off in the end!
  • With Dan’s help, redesigning this website. I would really like to incorporate a WordPress format, so I can update my own blog. And the pink needs to go.
  • Doing some fun things just for me. I am really looking forward to the monthly book club I just joined at the Center for New Words. We are currently reading Monique and the Mango Rains, which is an excellent book so far. I’m also excited about the end of summer hours at the YMCA, so I can go back to swimming by myself during their late hours.
  • Using my hard-earned money to take care of some things I’ve been neglecting since I started grad school. I desperately need a haircut (my ponytail is starting to look like it should be hanging from a horse’s ass), a bedspread, an oil change, and new glasses.

Ode to Emily

Random No Comments »

This morning I was feeling particularly sentimental about my house bun, Emily (named for the equally gentle and strawberry blonde Emily Sailers of the Indigo Girls. We adopted her from the SPCA four years ago; at the time, she was a larger than average rabbit but we figured that she was a full grown adult. Wow, were we wrong! After a great conversation with the Sweet Binks Rabbit Rescue, we realized that Emily is a Flemish Giant—one of the largest breeds of rabbit. Currently, when she lays flat she is over two feet long. Her favorite things in life are beet tops, attention from Dan or anyone else who’s offering, berry yogurt chips, collard greens, and extreme relaxing. She loathes loud noises, really tall people, and her green ball which she throws out of her way when she gets annoyed with it. 

As I groggily made my way to the kitchen for some breakfast this morning, I could see Emily binking (incredibly energetic, spastic hops that rabbits perform when they are super duper happy) and jumping on and off of her castle. Yes, the rabbit has her own castle which she loves to destroy on a daily basis by slowly tearing the carpeting off of each wall. A princess she is not. 

It finally clicked in my head that Emily deserved some public recognition and I grabbed the digital camera to take a few shots of her for this entry. When I sat down next to her, I noticed that one eye was completely shut and full of gunk. Oh no. There’s nothing a poor graduate student loves more than potentially expensive trips to the veterinarian! 

After Dan spent several death-defying minutes trying to entice her into the pet carrier without bloodshed, I had the pleasure of holding the carrier on my lap as she proceeded to freak out during the entire journey. She continued to breathe heavily at the vet’s office until Dan pulled out some of his rabbit whisperer voodoo and she relaxed a bit. Then I started my own freak out as the vet proceeded to poke, prod, and squeeze fluorescent drops into poor Emily’s eyes. For those of you who don’t know, I have a horrendous eyeball phobia. Wrists and veins gross me out too. 

Anyway, after $109 (ouch!) the official diagnosis is that she has an infection in her eye and nose and needs eye drops every day for two weeks. After pouting in her castle for several hours, she finally came out to relax so I could take some pictures. Here’s Emily!

Buried in the Busy

Pop Culture, Random, Writing 3 Comments »

And I return, yet again! The past month or so has been hectic, stressful, overwhelming—you know, the factors that lead to not blogging since April! There is not much to report, besides:

  • My spring semester is OVER! I spent way too much time studying and writing about Jack Bauer, but my paper is finished and turned in for grading. I believe we get our grades tomorrow, so I’ll be sleeping with my fingers and toes crossed tonight. Despite watching 24 religiously all season, I haven’t had the stomach to watch since I turned in my paper.
  • Did anyone watch the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy? I am so ashamed to admit that I was allowed to stop watching it a few weeks ago, but I really wanted to see what the writers would do with Addison’s new spin-off and how the season would finish as a whole. Although the show never elicited much of an emotional response from me (unless vomiting in my mouth or rolling my eyes count as emotions), I was really moved by the final scene with Meredith and Christina—I MAY have even shed a tear or two. After an entire season of Christina being pressured to get married to Burke, he calls off the wedding during the ceremony because he finally understands that she doesn’t want to be Mrs. Burke. During the final scene, Meredith enters Christina’s apartment to find her standing still in her wedding dress and looking around the apartment to find that all of Burke’s personal belongings are gone. When it finally sets in, Christina tears at her neck to remove her wedding choker as Meredith helps cut her out of her dress. And I think George is gone, boo.
  • I am in love with Amy Winehouse. I usually loathe any music that sounds like it was created before the days of Led Zeppelin, but I’m really enjoying this woman’s funky sound. Her hit “Rehab” is particularly useful when exercising.
  • Summer classes start this Tuesday and I am taking “Studies in Film Genre: The Melodrama.” I am really excited since I enjoyed my Feminist Film class so much last summer. I just hope it doesn’t include too many older films—I guess I have the same feelings about film as I do about music (see above).
  • I have slowly allowed my job to take over my life again, ugh. Once my summer course is over (sometime in the beginning of July), Kerri-the-feminist-writer is coming out to play. When it comes time to apply for PhD programs or earn a book deal, no one’s going to care one bit about the skills I used during my full-time job. I am a writer; I am a writer; I am a writer; therefore, I need to act like one.
  • After two shitty years at a Bally’s (if there’s one near you, don’t do it!), I joined a new gym! Everyone at the new gym seems friendly, I received great customer service from the employees, and I have yet to have an issue with getting the machine of my choice. On Friday night, I even shared the Olympic sized swimming pool with one other person. I am willing to give up my Friday nights on a regular basis if it leads to a workout not involving getting splashed by some brat and his stupid noodle.