Monday, March 31, 2003

Sorry for the lack of updates. Very busy and plus I always think if I have time to do a blog, I have time to write a thing on subway series..

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I managed to repair my stocking! While this is not an exciting revelation, except for in my non sewing world, I would like to notice that this defines who I am today. Yesterday, I was a feminist, conquering new world with style. Today, I am feminine, daydreaming of the possibilities of hemming a husband's pants. I wonder what I will be tomorrow!
Today I am wearing a costume. Navy blue hat, with a split in the brim and a white ribbon. Same ankh as yesterday. A white with swirly gold bracelet. A regular sleeveless black top with grey and white stripes across the chest(I think it's too short, so I have a jacket around my waist). I also have a long black skirt with lace on the bottom, lacey stockings with flower patterns that won't stay up and shoes that are black with silver 'buckles' I''m not good at describing shoes.

My makeup is lavender eyeshadow from the black opal line and red brown lipstick. I'm not too good with makeup. I worry my nail polish is chipped, but as this costume is sort of a reward for getting out of bed and attempting to go to office hours( couldn't find teacher's office) I am not sweating it. At least I have some encouragement to go and do my calc since I am already up.

I have even more ambitious plans. I have a fantasy that I will buy one piece of clothing a week to spruce up my wardrobe. However, it would have to be the platonic ideal of what I wanted that week. In a short time, I'd have a very vibrant wardrobe, which would allow me to dress for moods. However, I'm sure I don't have enough money to do this, obviously.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Today I bought Naomi Wolf's Promiscuities. I have decided for today I am a feminist. Tomorrow I will probably be something else. It's like a costume for the mind. I wish I could wear a costume everyday, but that would involve totally changing my wardrobe. So I make due with small touches like hats and necklaces, but it is not totally satisfying.

Thing I am glad I am not for today. A queer 16 year old from Milwaukee who is a high school dropout and makes documentaries using a fischer price camera. Although, Sadie Bennings didn't do too bad at it.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Fun manga rumors- according to a B&N listing it looks like Wedding Peach, Hana Yori Dango and Flame of Recca may be liscenced. A lot of entries today. I'm in extreme procrastination mode.
In gym today, the speaker preached to the choir about not overdoing it. Despite the fact that very few college students work out enough to injure themselves from the pure intensity of their workouts, he focused on people who were already working out, only giving one helpful tip( take a ten minute walk break after an hour's hard study) and only giving a few if you don't exercise bad things will happen type of sayings to the rest of us.

Pro exercise people usually do it all wrong. Telling us we have to exercise an hour a day or bad things will happen isn't going to get most of us off our butts and exercising. Most people don't enjoy exercise- thinking of it as painful running or embarrassing weight lifting or sports. What I think they should do is think of some exercise that can be integrated into the lifestyle- taking the stairs, sets of sit-ups when there are commercials on TV, biking to things that are close instead of driving(good for the environment too) and promote it.

Also, they should promote fun, non judgmental exercise. Talk more about jumping roping, and dance classes. Promote classes in which fat people feel comfortable. Don't just preach to the choir, get out and outreach! I personally will only exercise for some other reason. I'll walk the five minutes to the store, but I'm not going to lift weights in the middle of a gym. There must be more people like me out there, you know?
Totally obvious flash of insight for today. People aren't standard. They have different reactions to the same thing. For some people, having a shitload of work, and not enough time to do it in is immensely stressful. Some people will attempt to do all the work, some will do only the most important one, some will procrastinate, some will angst, some will keep it quiet, but lash out later.

Just because people have a shared experience does not mean that it is the same for others, or that you can expect them to have the same reaction to them as you. So before you say "BUT everyone else is working full-time and fighting off the Nazis and liberating Iraq and studying for the MCAT and getting all their calculus right on the first try and writing ten 20 page essays to be read by the president and being an intern at the White House while giving candy to orphans and tutoring them in long division, so why aren't you being cheerful right now?" I would advise you to stuff that thought up your ass, OK?

Sunday, March 23, 2003

I am glad I do not have cable right now. On our school's TV channels, they have Al-Jazeera. Yesterday, I was talking to this guy about the war coverage, and according to him, all they have been showing is corpses.While propaganda cuts both ways, the American propaganda is more comfortable-more showing missiles hitting their targets, less coverage of the effects.

The problem with war is that it is not just an effect, it is also a cause. We cannot know what this war will cause, but as with our selling chemical and biological weapons to Saddam, our entire future will be changed by it.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Unwrapping packages is a lot of fun. I am taking out my costume for today's school dance. My dress with the black leotard top and the colorful flared bottom smells old and musty like the vintage clothing shop I got it from, the chunky bright bracelet I have smells like incense as I got it from a vendor wearing a dashiki and a Sean John jean jacket. My spiral necklace does not smell like much of anything. I got a spiral because it is my symbol. However, it may not be a very cheerful symbol, because you never hear of someone on an upward spiral.

However, the pinwheels you sometimes see in anime are thought to imply youth and innocence I hear. So I guess I should think of it like that.
My PE class was very sensitive today. Today was the day we make comments about the class apparently. There were the usual normal comments like we should have more speakers with first hand experience and maybe have someone speak on anorexia. However, concerning the political sensitivity of the class, there were a lot of interesting comments.

According to my classmates, the lecture should be more sensitive to heterosexuals, blacks, women, people of college age and the non religious. The complaints ranged from very perceptive ones like noticing that in all the negative health outcomes pictures, the people were black, and that calling rape non consensual sex is soft peddling the brutality a bit, to things as pervasive as the shock value tone of some lectures, especially the one on STDS, and the overall pro religious tone of the text book.

I have secretly had some beefs with some of these issues myself. For example, young people of college age are a bit too old to use the shock value gruesome pictures on. Many people in college have seen this sort of lecture before, and would like to move forward in more detail. Also, people in college tend to be a bit smarter than people in high school. College weeds out the people on the bottom by requiring certain grades and test scores, and thus the level of discourse can increase, I believe.

I also hated the tone of the text book "An Invitation to Health". It's got that smug perky tone that makes you believe it was written by some prig who thinks that you should just keep smiling if your roof fell in. Couple that with a lack of factual information about health, and you have the makings of a painful book to read.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

I find Chobits a bit disturbing. While others may be saying "Awww, but it's a guy and his robot! What a cute robot!", I do not feel comfortable with a child coded character being such a blatant sex object. In other anime, characters with young appearances and young ages have been seen as sex objects. However, these characters are usually in adult or at least teenage roles. They are mecha pilots, superheroes, or just normal teens. I can deal with a person with the mentality of a 11th grader being thought of sexually, because people at that age have an idea of their own sexuality, even if it's not a very good one.

But Chii is very child like. She does not understand the implications of her actions (being a machine, she takes things very literally ) and often imitates others like a small child. The biggest offender in the sexualization of Chii is her ill fated attempt to get a job.

She starts work at a peep show, totally unaware of the implications of what she is doing. It's the equivalent of a mentally retarded person being a sex worker. They may 'decide' to do it, but they don't have the capacity to consent. This scene would have been more comfortable if I could be assured that most people would get what I assume is the intended meaning-whoa, that's creepy. However, for everyone who has that reaction, there is probably some guy polishing the meat, fantasizing about the future of robotic sex toys.

I wonder if that is the intended effect. Are we supposed to philophisize about loving an object instead of a human being or are we supposed to get out our credit cards and buy some Chii body pillows? (note towards the bottom)I hope it's the former, but I worry that too many may be doing the latter.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

I really like those Viactiv calcium chews. I mean, they taste like caramel and they provide calcuim, which is important for young women who never drink milk. I'd drink milk more often, but people who are slightly lactose intolerant really shouldn't. Speaking of calcuim, I have read people saying "he must have a calcuim defiecency' in two manga: Peach Girl and Chobits, I believe. I wonder if it's some sort of Japanese folk belief? Sorry for the bad journal today. Busy busy!

Monday, March 17, 2003

I miss the nineties. I remember when all the countries were laughing at us, but just because the President was doing an intern. I remember when dropping some bombs in Kosovo was taramount to evil. I remember when the economy was booming, and the future seemed to be bright.

My life is better now. I am in college now. But I certainly wish that I had gone to college in those days. When it seemed like peace would go on forever. When the world was behind us, and we only had mini wars. Well, wishing for it back won't give it to you, but..
I'm back from Spring Break!

Subway Series is a cool comic about our protagonist Tina discovering her freedom to be fucking tense. Yes, there are some fucked up relationships, but the moment of enlightenment for me is when she says, �I love being tense� We�re all supposed to be such fun lovers. We�re supposed to lighten up, loosen up, relax, and etc, etc, etc. However, here Tina is accepting her tenseness. She�s not letting others make her feel bad about being tense.

A lot of the time, it�s very easy to feel bad because others judge you. Earlier, Tina and her friend were in an art gallery looking at a picture of a rotund woman. Tina was marveling at how fleshy she was, and her friend was just that�s what a woman looks like. This simple scene says a lot about how Tina�s head was so filled with what society tries to say to everyone. Tina�s not a stick figure, she�s got an �ass like a thousand bulldozers� according to one of her �friends�, but still she is surprised even at the basic level of seeing a woman of normal size.

Subway Series doesn�t give some huge cosmic revelation at the end. In fact, this whole thing is just my interpretation. I�m sure there are as many interpretations as readers.

Monday, March 10, 2003

I don't know what to think about body hair. I mean, on one hand, it is natural, and probably serves some function. On the other, our society seems pretty picky about it. It's like someone handed a set of tablets down from the heavens saying "No woman may have hair any place but her head.".

I play along, shaving my legs and my armpits, but sometimes I wonder if I should go the way of the porn star? I mean, really, it would make swimsuit shopping much easier. But then I remember I don't swim. Then again, this is the same society that thinks the natural texture of my hair(nappy) isn't good enough for it, so bleh to that.

I guess that didn't make much sense. However, beginning tomorrow, I'll be having a lot of spring break adventures.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

I feel better after puking all day Saturday! So it's time to write on frivolous topics. It seems that Fancy Lala has been getting a lot of attention from Anime News Network lately. Within the last week, volumes 2 and 3have been reviewed, and volume 5 has been given a good mention in the Shelf Life column. I would like to note that while volume one and two's reviews are in ANN's tradition of actually reviewing the show, pointing out the good points and the bad points without resorting to the LOLOL it's soooo kyute and funni style of anime reviews prevalent on the web, the volume three review seems a bit skimpy.

Although any excuse to mention Fancy Lala in this blog is a good one, I will use it as a jumping off point to explore the idea of a critic's darling anime. Anime is a very fan orientated hobby. Most anime critics (save for regular movie critics that only review theatrically released anime) are just anime fans who set up a website and let their ideas rip. Obviously, it does not take any training in criticism or writing to just set up a website, so much of the time, we have gotten reviews like this.(they seem to get worse as you go down)

The favorite shows of the reviewers tended to (and still tend to be) the mass market fan favorites. If the hot new show was Hot High School Chick Fighter Tits, that was what got the good reviews, and the attention, unlike movie reviewers who tend to focus more on the Oscar Contending Star Power Pic or the Obscure Indie. Then again, movies have a whole criticism culture built up around them.

For example, Ebert is a household name, and there are lots of classes in film criticism. While there are plenty of just set up a website critics, at least they have print critics as role models. There's also not much incentive to be a good anime critic. Very few people in anime fandom really care if you go beyond kyute and funni, and frankly, that's less effort.

Friday, March 07, 2003

Tiny little selfish moment of nonexistent glory-my essential on Paradise Kiss is on Savant now. Read it!

The incident reports in the school newspaper are pretty dull. Most of them involve stuff like some frat boys had a fight or someone smelled some weed. Not actually saw it, smelled it. The most interesting report is that a guy complaining of chest pains was picked up on a warrant from another state. Fun.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

I'm pretty worried about my hair lately. I must get it done, but finding a black hair salon close and affordable seems a bit worrying. One of my pet peeves is that certain groups of people do not understand that black hair needs special care. They think black hair is actually naturally straight, and behaves like European hair. WRONG, my ignorant members of other ethnic groups!

While aware that actually knowing something about people from another ethnic group is just too hard for some, it's pretty annoying. I mean, broaden your horizons, people of a certain ethnic group! Come on, ignorance isn't cute, it isn't funny. When you display your colossal ignorance, you make yourself a target for being laughed at behind your back. So don't be a dumbass!

Although, a lot of other groups tend to be a bit whitewashed in classes. I had a good history teacher and thus had to do a report on African civilization, but if I was in the regular class, I wouldn't have known this at all. I remember an incident in high school in which we were talking about the fact that AP history students had to read a book about women's history. A girl from the regular track was like women haven't done anything, the book is going to be like two pages long. However, the actual book was about three hundred pages.

Then again, even pompous asses like me don't know everything. For example, I didn't know Ida B Wells was a sociologist(her Red Record recorded infomation on the social problem of lynching) or that W.E.B. Dubois had published a book length sociological study of blacks called "The Philadelphia Negro". However, I actually do try to learn something from time to time, unlike some people. Assuming that only one culture can do anything important isn't really a very useful way to see the world. We need to incorporate lessons from all histories to really make sense of what was going on.
Today I watched the second episode on the 5th disk of Fancy Lala. It made me cry. This episode involves Lala working with her mom. She sees that her mother has a whole life that she knows nothing about, and becomes insecure and worried. I don't know why I cried, but somehow the way it managed to portray those childhood fears, touched a cord in me.

Although, on the other side, children have a whole life that their parents know nothing about. In keeping with the whole Lala metaphor here, Mrs. Shinohara certainly doesn't know that her daughter is using magic to transform into an older girl. When Mrs. Shinohara thinks Miho is off playing or with friends, she is really working hard to become a star.

I really appreciate this episode. I like an anime that is able to evoke an emotion in me, to make me remember it. I am slightly unhappy that I have to wait til May to see the end, but then again, I feel slightly sad that it is ending at all. At least I'll have an excuse to marathon it.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Moved into my new room. Lots of stuff was left behind it seems. There were some handy items like a lot of milk crate like book shelves, and a power strip. However, there were a lot of strange items in what I had assumed was a trash can filled with trash. I dumped the Kix, chips (lots of cheetos there), candy, monistat, and the feminine cleansing cloths. Just in case you need to clean your cunt on the go, because we all know that vaginas smell just so horrible!

(Actually, to tell the truth, if your vagina smells like fish, well, it may be time to go for a gynecologist check up. That odor may be a sign of infection)

I kept some calcium chews, about a hundred panty liners and a zillion Q tips. The other trash can had trash and office supplies. I retained a sparkly pencil and a highlighter. Today was satisfying. Although I had no free time from 7:45 to around 4:50, I managed to get calc tutoring, go to the soc symposium, do my Japanese test, learn that Episcopalians can have women priests and do my 'job' (i.e. tutoring kids) Luckily I tutored in reading today. I hate tutoring math.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Taking time out from my busy schedule (I'm moving tomorrow!) to note that Iraq has started destroying its missiles. But it seems that Bush just won't be satisfied with compliance with the UN's demands! Dude, don't front, just say that you want a war just to have one.

Pretty-ugly girls suck. I wish that I could find a good realistic depiction of teenage life in Hollywood more often. I don't want to see dream fantasies about how if us ugly folks just change our hair and put on a bit of makeup, all our dreams (and not even very interesting dreams) will come true.

What sort of message is this sending? Oh, you may be ugly, but it doesn't matter, buy some products and everything will be just fine? What's wrong with a society where the answer to high school problems is not hard work or perseverance, but products? Also, the whole fantasy is dependant on a guy. The message isn't "Become a great person and guys will love you for it", it's "Wait til some dude comes along to make you over". I think the becoming a more self confident person with skills would be a better thing to show young teens than that, but it wouldn't sell as many products would it?