Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Objectification and Victimization of Women in Modern Advertising

I had to write an English paper on this, and figured I'd share it with you all. Hope you like it!



            Women are nothing more than victims and objects. That’s a pretty surprising statement for 2012. Sure, women can vote and get jobs now. However, open up a magazine and you will be bombarded with lifeless, nude bodies advertising anything from clothes to cheeseburgers.
            Women are rarely afforded the luxury of clothing in advertising. In a Michael Kors advertisement, a man and woman are walking hand-in-hand down the street. The man is in a three-piece suit. The woman? In a swimsuit that looks like little more than a ribbon wrapped around her torso. This is atrocious enough, until you realize that Kors is famous for watches and apparel. The man gets less that 1/4th of the advertisement, and his watch is half-covered.
            Carl’s Jr. has a commercial advertising their barbecue burger. The ad lasts for thirty-one seconds, but the majority is overtly sexual images of two young women. Eight seconds are fully food, but most of it is close-up shots of the young women’s bodies. They don’t speak at all. If it weren’t for the last six seconds telling what the advertisement is about, one would leave with the impression that it was an ad for an adult film.
            The popular clothing store American Apparel titles their advertisements as “risqué.” However, mostly nude women in either skin tights jeans or underwear with double entendres emblazoned above them leaps over the line of “verging on impropriety.” Not to mention, it’s hard to advertise clothing when your models don’t wear clothing.
            All three of these examples just highlight the fact that women are little more than sexual objects. It makes sense for Victoria’s Secret to have models in lingerie, because they advertise lingerie. Neither a barbecue burger nor a watch designer have anything to do with lingerie, so why use them in advertising?
            It’s well-known that Photoshop is used in all advertisements. It has been documented in many, many, many Photoshop disasters. Nevertheless, it is used without fail. White-washing, pore-erasing, cellulite-obliterating, “flaw”-removing, and buffing women into plastic-looking dolls is one of their specialties.
Rihanna, Beyoncé, Queen Latifah, Sofia Vergara, and Aishwarya Rai have all been victims of white-washing. (White-washing is the over-retouching of a non-Western European woman until she looks white.) Freckles and moles are rare occurrences in advertisements, even though many people have them. Tina Fey and Lana Parilla have distinguishing facial scars, but most pictures of them will Photoshop their “imperfections” out. A quick Google search of “Photoshop before and after” will turn up multiple photos of beautiful people. And their heavily retouched published personas.
Finally, the positioning of the models bodies suggests a recent violent encounter. A Calvin Klein ad features a young woman on the ground. It looks like she has just been pushed out of a car, which is evident by the man’s legs standing over her. Her face is contorted in pain, and her body language suggests fear or pain. Calvin Klein makes clothes, but the main theme here is the suggestion of violence.
An ad for Marc Jacobs features a young model looking timid, and trying to hide. Her face is a mask of fear and timidity. Marc Jacobs is also a clothing designer, but her clothes are barely visible.
Calvin Klein, yet again, has two more advertisements for jeans. One involves a young woman on a beach. She looks like she’s drowned, and been washed up on the shore. Her jeans are mostly cut out of the advertisement. Her lifeless body takes up more of the ad than what the ad is advertising. In the second ad, the young woman isn’t even wearing jeans. Instead, she is fallen in a field. Again, her unresponsive body is contorted in a way that doesn’t show off her clothing.
Why is violence against women an effective way of advertising? How is objectifying them an effective way to sell to them? Women need to stand up for their rights. They need to stop purchasing things from sexist advertisers that only advertise the victimization and objectification of women. We are not objects. And we certainly are not victims. And, in 2012, we certainly do not have to stand for this.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bagged Milk?

So, I recently learned about bagged milk. It is seriously a gallon's worth of milk in a bag. My brain can not understand this phenomenon.

I have never, in my entire life, heard of bagged milk. Up until now. My parents act like it’s this totally normal thing. But, I just CAN NOT UNDERSTAND IT! Can y’all explain this to me? Please? Because, my milk has only ever come in plastic jugs or waxed cardboard. NEVER HAVE I EVER HAD A BAGGED DRINK! 
Like, how do they drink it? Keep it? Because, it looks like a gallon of milk, in a bag. But, I don’t drink a gallon of milk on my cereal. (Well, I don’t drink milk anyway. I’m a soy milk person. But, I digress.) How do they keep it? Transport it? Don’t the bags burst? 
I just… And how have Americans NEVER made fun of that? Like, we’ll be all, “Oh, ‘ello, mate! Want to go watch the telly, eat fish ‘n chips, grab a pint, and drink tea? GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!” and "Want some maple syrup, eh? I'm a Mountie, eh. Canadian bacon, eh!" BUT HOW ARE WE OBLIVIOUS TO BAGGED MILK?

And, I'm totally not the only person that feels this way. If you search "bagged milk" on Tumblr, it's completely normal. In other countries. They're actually making fun of Americans for not understanding it. I'm sure we have things that they don't understand. However, some very kind Canadian made a video explaining bagged milk for all Americans. It must be like Harry Potter explaining the function of a rubber duck. Like, it's something that's painfully obvious for them, but insanely fascinating for us. So, thank you, kind Canadian. I owe you my sanity.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Is it a choice?

You know, the stereotype that all gay men are flamboyant really got me thinking. Obviously, not every homosexual man is in-your-face. However, are the ones that ARE flamboyant because that's who they are, or because that's what society tells them what they should be?
I mean, just look at almost every pop culture representation of a gay male. They're very in-your-face, flamboyant, and almost harass every male they deem attractive. It's parodying an entire group of people, but I digress.
Women, in pop culture, are told that we need to be slim, shapely, cook, clean, be modest, raise children, whiten our teeth, apply flawless makeup, try slews of diets, etc. Women in real-life, after being bombarded by this messaging, begin to act the way that society deems proper and feminine.
So, if gay males are constantly being bombarded with messages that, to be a true homosexual, you must be flamboyant, open, constantly cheerful, in-your-face, all these things that we constantly see, wouldn't they do the same thing?
There's nothing wrong with being who you are! But pop culture and the media are known for their brain washing abilities. Could women be the only people affected? I don't think so. I think that society puts down strict social codes for every ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and age range. And I find that to be revolting.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Whoreoween!

Slut shaming is running rampant in today's society. For those of you who don't know, slut shaming is insulting, looking down on, abusing, harassing, etc. a woman that is seen as "too sexual." If you've ever looked at any woman's mass produced Halloween costume made in the past five years, they are growing more and more sexual, with shorter hemlines, lower necks, and tighter fits.
Lots of people love to get their panties in a wad over this. They see it as trashy, a call for attention, being too openly sexual, and all of these terrible things. But, they're people, too.
First of all, it's their body. You wouldn't like it if I told you what to wear. Why does it become acceptable when you're telling a grown woman what she can wear? We shouldn't ostracize the majority of our population just because they don't dress according to our taste. If you don't approve of the way they dress, then don't dress that way yourself.
The human body is already taboo enough. Movies with violence, blood, gore, mass killings, explosions, missiles, guns, knives, and all sorts of murderous imagery are given PG-13 ratings. Movies with nudity, and sexual themes? They're given R-ratings.
There's also a huge amount of sexism when clothes become involved. Men are often shown shirtless, or in just their boxers. That's fine, accepted by both genders as perfectly A-OK! However, if a woman wears a shirt that is "too low-cut," she's labelled as a slut, whore, tramp, floozy, and other vicious words. Among first sight, not even a conversation, women are dumb, ditzy, willing to sleep with anybody, and never going anywhere in life because their skirts don't reach their ankles.
"It's demoralizing to become sexy." No, it isn't. I can not control what other people think. I wish I could, because I would end slut shaming, but I can't. So, for somebody else to see a fully grown woman as sexy? It's fine. Our thoughts can't be controlled, much less the thoughts of others. And a simple thought of "Oh, that woman looks attractive" doesn't hurt anybody. Only the actions do. And, as long as you feel attractive in what you are wearing, your morals are perfectly fine.
So, folks, stop tearing each other apart. Stop slut shaming. Stop this outdated, misogynistic, close-minded way of thinking! We need to work on equality, but we aren't going anywhere if we don't knock it off! I'm going to leave you with Laci Green to reinforce my message. Maybe you'll listen to a college graduate.

Happy Halloween!

Well, technically it's the day after Halloween (and the start of my birthday month!), but this message will work for whenever.

Halloween is a fun time of year when you get to dress up as somebody/something else, party, and get free candy. However, it's rife with sexism, slut-shaming, racism, and culture appropriation.
Let's start with the racism and cultural appropriation.
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Despite the obvious racial issues with the third costume, these are all guilty of racism and cultural appropriation. Native American head dresses nowadays are cool, hipster, and iconic-- of Lana Del Rey. However, they're very important, and not to be worn by the average Joe. They're reserved for the most powerful and influential tribe members. 
The problems with Native American costumes: We're erasing their culture and taking an important show of bravery away, so that we can be so cool. Then again, we're really good at erasing Native American history. I mean, open up a US History book. We're constantly moving them off of their holy land, massacring them when they don't obey us, and robbing them of everything they own. 
And don't you dare give me the "Well, I'm 1/64th Native American, so it's OK." You can't speak for all of one culture when you are one person. And, if you really are Native American, you should have more respect for your culture, history, and ancestors than to tout an important part of their lives so you can look like Lana. You are also not "borrowing" their culture. Why? Well, let's say that you are Christian. I take a very important cross necklace that your grandmother gave to you. But I'm just "borrowing" your culture. Even if I have no respect for it (I do respect all religions, by the way), it means something to you. 
Now onto the classic definition of racism: African American culture. Afro wigs are not appropriate to be wearing. You are taking a beautiful, confident woman that chooses to wear her natural hair, and turning it into a mockery. Dreadlocks, too. Since, you know, all "proper" stoner/70's/hippie outfits have either an afro or dreadlocks. So, essentially, you're taking natural hair, turning it into a great big joke, while adding a stigma.
To put it into layman's terms, imagine that I put on a blonde wig. I begin to act ditzy, self-centered, and shallow. You know, because all blondes are dumb and shallow. Oh, wait? I'm being unfair? Sorry, it's just a costume!
I shouldn't even have to talk about parodying people of color. It's not acceptable to be Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, or anybody else. You're parodying an entire culture. Yes, you're incredibly witty (dripping sarcasm, of course) when you dress up as Diana Ross and begin to scream at the top of your lungs, and get over-emotional about some things. Oh wait, you're not. You're being stereotypical and racist.
Muslim culture is not filled with terrorists. In fact, according to an Islamic website, there's no violence at all. Surprising, right? I mean, a religion whose practices are as violent as a declaration of faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage.... Wait, what? That sounds a lot like Christianity... Hm, well, Christians must be savage, too, then. But, I know a lot of Christians and they aren't savage at all. Get my point, guys?
I'm going to leave you with a video on cultural appropriation and Halloween racism. I'll return to slutty costumes at a later time! Bye, guys!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Feelings Are Legitimate

"Young Love" "Puppy Love" "It won't last" "You don't know what love is"
We've all heard this, right? In one of our first relationships, we were told that we didn't know what love was by our elders. I really, really, really hate when people say this.
It's their first relationship, of course they don't know what you think love is! They're young! However, what they are feeling right now, is the closest to love that they have ever felt. No, it probably isn't the love you feel for your husband. But, they don't know what that love is, because they've never been married before. They've only been thirteen-year-olds with their first partners. They've never had a fiancee or a long-term relationship. They've never lived with anybody. The only love they know is the platonic love for their relatives and friends, and the love in that first relationship. And that love is just as legitimate as yours is. Why? Because life is filled with stepping stones. Nobody goes from nothing to soul mates. They build, grow, and develop over time.
Just because you're older does not mean that you get to make them feel inadequate about what they're feeling. For the longest time, I was afraid to announce that I loved my partners. Why? Not because I wasn't sure of how I felt, I knew that I was feeling love, at least in its early stages. It was because I didn't want to be patronized. People think that, because they were born twenty years earlier that that gives them the right to tell young teenagers what they're feeling.
It doesn't. It just makes us self-conscious. Trust me. Stop telling kids that their feelings aren't real. Instead, teach them what love is supposed to feel like. Stop telling them that it's puppy love and won't last. Teach them how to be equal partners that contribute to healthy relationships.
This leads me into something else, about feelings not being legitimate.
I'm turning 16 soon. It worries me, because I feel that it's a monumental age. However, I can't voice my concerns to anybody. They laugh at me, and tell me that "16 isn't that big of a deal. Wait until you get to be my age."
I've never been your age. The oldest I've ever been is 15. From the time I was old enough to understand the concept of age until now, 16 has been HUGE. I still feel that way.
I know that, twenty years from now, 16 will just be a drop in the bucket. However, my bucket only has 15 drops in it! Each drop really counts, and 16 is a really big drop.
So stop. My feelings are the most legitimate I've ever felt. It's up to me, and only me to decide what is "real" and what is "not that big of a deal." Just because you've lived for a longer time doesn't mean that you know what I'm feeling.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Disney Princess Challenge Part TWO

So, yesterday, I did part one. Tonight, I am going to finish what I started.

11) I wish I had Snow White's voice. I just love the voices in vintage movies. I have no clue why, but I totally do. Voices today just don't have the same cadences.
12) The two princesses I think would be best friends are Aurora and Cinderella. They're both vintage and classic characters. They're so sweet and little girls look up to them so much.
13) I think Tiana and Ariel would detest each other. Tiana is so good at working hard for what she wants, and Ariel just gets it all handed to her. Tiana is selfless, and Ariel is selfish.
14) I think Mushu and Ol' Ray would get along so well. They're both sassy, funny, and outgoing.
15) Naveen and Beast have a lot in common, so I think they would mesh well. Both were selfish, but changed for their lady loves.
16) I cry in pretty much every Disney movie. I mean, The Lion King just leaves me bawling. However, this is the princess scene that makes me cry the most
17) I cry when I'm happy. So I guess that scene also makes me cheer. But I'm going with a new one, so as not to seem cheap.
18) I can't think of any scenes that make me cringe. So, here's another scene that makes me cry.
19) The Disney princesses all have pretty tragic stories. I guess I'm going to have to go with Belle, since hers is the least tragic.
20) I'm breaking the rules in this. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite princess movie, but The Lion King is totally my favorite movie. I can watch that movie all day, every day. And I often times do. I know every word in the first scene, and most of the rest of the movie.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Disney Princess Challenge

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Here we go. I'm going to skip all the apologizing for being a bad blogger because I always do that, and nothing ever changes. =) It's so nice to get past all the fluff.
1) The princess I adore most has got to be Belle. I just love the movie she is from. It's my second-favorite. And, you know what? I'm skipping all that "she's not very feminist" stuff. It's a movie, take it at face value. My second-favorite is definitely Cinderella. I don't know why, I just really, really, really like her.
2) The princess I like the least is Rapunzel. I don't know why. I feel like she's an intruder. The rest of the princesses have similar animation style, and Rapunzel just sticks out like a sore thumb. See?
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Plus, she just kind of gets on my nerves. She's almost too Disney-happy. I just, there is something about her that I do not like. And I'm not burning Tangled dolls or anything. I just neither own nor want to own that movie. However, it's not just Rapunzel I dislike. I'm not to happy with Jasmine or Ariel either. (Jasmine is very catty and Ariel is extremely self-centered.)
3) The princess I  relate to most is probably Ariel. I know I just said that she was selfish and rash, which she is. But she's also a bit of an outsider, and this isn't going to be a woe is me thing, I promise. I feel like an outsider, too a lot of the time. Especially at school. I mean, I have friends, but I never feel like we're on the same page. I don't know. It's one of those things that, if you know what I mean, you get it. If you don't know what I mean, you never will.
4) The side kick I wish I had is a toss up between Mushu (Mulan) and Meeko (Pocahontas). Mushu is so funny, and sassy, and I just love him. (I think Eddie Murphy is a really good comedian. I am also fond of Donkey.) But Meeko is so super cute, and reminds me of one of my cats. Probably Meeko though, since I could cuddle with him.
5) The best friends I want to hang out with are Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po. Honestly, Mulan just has the best companions.
6) The prince I wish loved me is actually a toss up. I love how cute and shy Aladdin is, but he's very shallow and makes a lot of mistakes. When I was little, I had a huge crush on John Smith, but he gets shot. That's probably not the best ending. I guess I'm going to have to go with the Beast on this one. Yeah, he had issues, but he changed for Belle. Plus, he has beautiful eyes. (Fun fact: Beast never got a name! There is one source that said that his name was Prince Adam, and that's kind of what stuck. However, Disney animators and those who worked on that movie say that they never named him. He's just Beast.)
7) The parents I wished raised me are going to have to be Eudora and James. They really worked hard to get Tiana everything she needed, and really encouraged her to believe in herself. Tiana is definitely one of my favorite princesses, but I'm biased by the Jazz music.
8) The castle I wish I lived in is a toss up. Cinderella's castle is gorgeous and iconic. Belle's castle is so beautiful with all the stained glass. However, I think I would get creeped out by the gargoyles on Belle's castle, so we're going with Cinderella.
9) The town I wish I lived in is Tiana's town. It's Jazz Age New Orleans. Who WOULDN'T want to live there? 
10) This is going to be the last one for now, since it's getting long. I shall complete it tomorrow though! I wish I owned all of their dresses, honestly. But, if we're going to have to pick, it's a toss up between Tiana's dress and Belle's dress. I'm going to have to go with Belle's right now, though, simply because I love their song.

That's all for now, folks! If you want to know more about who I was talking about, feel free to click any of the links. They will take you to pictures, videos, or the iMDB page of the movie. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Memories

Tonight, I'm sitting on my bed, in my dress from the eighth grade dance, looking at old pictures. It really makes me think. These are moments in my life that were huge, and I can never get them back.
At the eighth grade dance, there are pictures of people mid-dance. It doesn't matter what song was playing, or what they were thinking, or what they had done earlier that day. Their boyfriends don't matter. It's a single form of free expression, captured in an instant. I've entirely forgotten what song was playing. I don't even know the playlist. But I do remember having the time of my life. I remember smiling and dancing with my friends. I remember all of their names.
And, in photos, things don't matter. The biggest things in my life at that point in time? They're silly now. I was heartbroken because of a selfish breakup, I was angry at one girl, and I felt like I was losing my friend. Guess what? That breakup doesn't matter. I'm in a new relationship. My ex? He's moved on, and has had a handful of other girlfriends. That girl I was angry at? She and I settled our differences, and barely talk. However, there's no animosity between us. The lost friend? She's gone, maybe for good.
My point is: Life goes on. Something that may be huge and encompassing one moment won't matter in a year. Don't sit and sulk about current or past moments. Trust me, I've done that. I wasted an entire year doing that. It didn't get me anywhere.
People will come and go. Most of them will leave, and most of them will leave memories and their stamps on your life. I've had over 400 people leave stamps and memories on mine. Do all of them matter? No. Not every memory is golden. Do I still talk to all of them? Most definitely not. I don't even talk to most of them. I certainly wouldn't change those memories for the world. I wish I could go back. However, I can't. I'm in high school now, and I'm going to make the best of it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bucket List

Most people make a bucket list of things to do before they die. Mine is a little different. I have 80 years before I die. These are things I want to do before I have kids, and settle down. I know that having kids doesn't ruin your life or mean that you can't have fun anymore. But, once you see some of the things on this list, you'll kind of get it. So, here we go!

  1. Finish my ear piercings. I currently have three in each lobe. However, I want a lot more. In my left ear, I want seven going up my ear, so it's basically ringed in earrings. In my right ear, I want four going up my lobe, two in my helix, and I want to try to do my industrial. I don't know if the industrial will be possible, though. 
  2. I want to try and get as many tattoos in as I can. I don't mind getting tatted with kids, but I still want quite a few before kids. There are other posts of tattoos I want, but I'm going to give a quick gloss-over anyway.
    • Notes from my parents
    • This one will have to wait until I have kids, because I want their tiny feetprint "walking" up my side
    • A Tinkerbell with "To die would be an awfully big adventure" on the back of my neck
    • "The crownless again shall be king"
    • A frog with a chef's hat and a whisk
    • "Be humble for you are made of earth, be noble for you are made of stars."
    • "We are such stuff as dreams are made on"
    • "And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not."
    • Portraits of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe on my feet
    • The "Eat Me" cookies on the inside of my left heel, and the "Drink Me" vial on the inside of my right heel
  3. Go to bartender school. I just think that it would be really, really cool to learn how to be a bartender. And I'd be massively popular at parties. =)
  4. Swim with sharks. I would love to walk around on the bottom of the ocean, but cage diving works, too. It's actually really funny. I do not like the beach at all, whatsoever. But I adore marine life. Except eels. They're scary. And barracuda.
  5. Try out for a roller derby team. Even if I don't make it, I at least want to try.
  6. Tour Europe. This is really one of the biggest things I want to do. I think it would be really fun.
  7. Learn more languages. I'm a native English speaker, and I can speak halfway conversational Spanish. But I want to learn to at least speak halfway conversational French, Italian, and maybe German.
  8. Get my cosmetology license. If everything goes as planned, I should be able to do this before I finish high school. 
  9. Find my dream job. Though cosmetology and being a bartender are fine careers, and I'm not disrespecting anybody that does them, I don't want to do that for the rest of my life. As of right now, I really want to go into sex-and-sexuality education.
  10. Take nonsensical college classes. Even if they don't have anything to do with my major, I still want to take fun classes. Even if it means having to go back to college just for a class. Like Human Behavioral Biology, Psychology, Women's Studies, there are so many classes that sound like fun.
  11. Learn to play the piano. I actually think that this would be really, really fun. 
  12. Take ballet classes long enough so I can dance on pointe. I don't want to be a prima ballerina, but I think dancing on pointe is so gorgeous.
  13. Sing opera. This is kind of ridiculous because I can't manage to just sing normally in front of my classmates. 
  14. This one is just something I want to do before I die. There's a list of over 100 of the most famous books that most people haven't read. I want to read the majority of them. And, for my age, I've read quite a few. Out of 102 books, I have read 14. There are many more on that list that I have started, but haven't finished. I have a thing about needing to hold books, and most of the ones I started were on Kindle. So I am going to work on those.
  15. Go to Mardi Gras. I know this sounds silly, but I think it would be fun. 
  16. Go on a road trip with friends. I would love to do this in high school. Just take a group of friends, drive to Atlanta, and spend a night or so there.
I'm sure there are more things that are on my bucket list, but I can't remember them. So, for now, that will have to do. What's on your bucket list? What are things that you wish you would have done? "I figure life's a gift, and I don't intend on wasting it."

Shark Week

Sadly, it's over. However, after reading a post from my friend, Ashley, over at The Interesting Abyss, I decided to write about it. Of course, I'm going to defend sharks.
Well, not really defend them, because I haven't seen anybody attack them. I just love sharks and useless information. So, I shall try to educate people about sharks.
"Sharks are dangerous, bloodthirsty, vicious things that will attack and kill you for no reason." Actually, no. On average, 100 people are bitten by a shark every year. (Keep in mind, the world is filled with seven billion.) Only about five die. However, it's very easy to prevent being bitten. Firstly, surfers/wake boarders should not go out when there is low-light. Steer clear of surfing during sunrise, sunset, or at night. It's darker, and that makes it a bit harder to see. Couple that with the fact that many sharks like to eat seals, and that the outline of a paddling surfer looks a lot like the outline of a seal, it's not the best thing to do.
Second, if you see large groups of seals in the water, use your brain. Sharks like to eat seals, and you look like a seal. Paddling, you look like the underbelly. Treading water, you look like a seal. (When they sit in the water, they sit straight up and down.)
Try to avoid excessively splashing in the water. Sharks are excellent at feeling movement. So, you splashing at the top feels like an injured fish to them. While they might not attack, they'll certainly come investigate.
That's the ends of my Tips for Not Being Bitten By A Shark. Now, it's just fun facts. Bull sharks. Do not mess with them. I mean, don't go messing with any shark, but especially not bull sharks. They're extremely territorial, with testosterone levels of 400+. So, try to steer clear of them.
They are very clever beings. Sharks have been known to figure out mazes very quickly, and then to remember the mazes for a very long time.
Jaws, everybody knows it. Duuun nun, dun nun, dun nun... It's based on the theory of "rogue sharks," or sharks that give up natural prey for humans. However, there's tons of evidence against the theory of rogue sharks, such as the fact that there hasn't been a single case of them. In 2001, a series of shark attacks at a beach led people to believe that there might be rogue sharks. But, after examining the evidence, it was our fault. Divers would go out, feed this one shark, and then reach into a fanny pack for another piece of fish. Essentially, we trained the shark.
Everybody knows that shark teeth are quite sharp, and that there are hundreds. However, did you know that their teeth have been used as weapons for hundreds of years? Oh. You did? Well, how about the reason why their teeth are so strong? They're filled with and produce fluoride. The same stuff in our tooth paste? Yeah, it grows naturally on their teeth.
Fetal sharks will swim around inside their mothers and eat the other fetal sharks. Survival of the fittest begins before birth.
Finally, mating. As Ben has so kindly told me, I know way too much about animal coitus. And I seriously do. However, I'm going to share my knowledge with you. Ever noticed how lots of sharks have scars all over their skin? Yeah, some of those can be from fights. But a lot of them are actually mating scars. It makes sense. I mean, sharks don't have any hands to hold on to each other with, and they have to constantly keep swimming to live. So, to mate, they bite each other.
Despite the fact that sharks are extremely fascinating, beautiful, and amazing creatures that have stuck around for millions of years, many people are hunting them. Sharks take a long time to mature, and have relatively low reproduction rates. So, needlessly killing them for shark-fin soup is incredibly wasteful. Let's save sharks, so that our kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and all future generations can appreciate these fearsome beasts.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ultrasound

My mama still has videos of one of my ultrasounds, and one-and-a-smidgen of Kyle's ultrasounds. (In mine, she was about four months along. In Kyle's, there's a bit of one when she first found out she was pregnant, and then a full one of a longer-gestated Kyle.) I was recently watching the video of my ultrasound, and it is just so cool.
It's weird to think of myself as I do not know myself. There are very few pictures of my mother's pregnancy, and only one (known) ultrasound of her with me. So it's just strange. There are all sorts of pictures of infant me. In fact, there are tons of pictures of me as a baby. So that isn't weird. But to see myself as a fetus is weird. It's especially weird to hear my parents refer to me as a boy. I've always known that I am a girl, so it's just natural for people to refer to me as a girl. However, my parents chose to keep my gender an unknown until I was born. On the ultrasound, you can hear my mom keep referring to me, her daughter, as he/him/his/etc.
But, the coolest part is hearing my parents. My mom sounds so young, excited, and utterly in love. I know she loves my brother and me very much. But it's just weird hearing that level of absolute adoration directed to a stranger and an unknown. It's just so cool. I actually started tearing up a little bit hearing her excitement. Every time I moved, you could hear her excitedly tell my dad, "Look, he's moving his little arm. Oh! Look at his little lips." At one point, I "waved" at them. It's just awesome.
And then there's my dad. He's never been one for really emotional expression, that's always my mom. We actually tease him because his way of saying that something is really awesome is nodding his head and going, "Cool." But, on the video, he just kept saying, "Wow." I would kick, "wow." The ultrasound technician would pan over to my feet, "wow." The funniest part, for me, was when the tech told them how much I weighed. She told them in grams, the universal measurement. My dad, to better put it into a tangible amount, said, "Wow. That's almost two bowls of cereal. ... Froot Loops." So, at five-months incubated, I weighed as much as two bowls of Froot Loops.
I don't know if any of you will really care, but I thought that it was really cool to see pre-Dylan Dylan, and to hear my mama get all excited over it. Maybe I'm just a wuss like that. Who knows? I cry at the ending of The Little Mermaid.

#HowIMetMyBestFriend

This is currently a trending topic on Twitter, in case you couldn't tell by the hashtag. I felt that it would be a nice story to tell, considering I've been neglecting my blog. (Sorry!) My best friend is Ben, in case you don't follow me on twitter or facebook.
It was the second day of my freshman year. (On my first day, I sat alone for 99% of my lunch period. Go, Dylan!) So, I started out sitting alone. Then, a kid that I had met in English class came up and sat across from me.
Now, I will go off on a tangent onto how I met that kid. His name is Cedric, and he has a mustache. I started off freshman year with navy blue hair. So, I was sitting in English class. I was the first kid there. (On the first day, I actually missed English because I was standing in line to get my ID.) The class starts to fill up, and I'm ignored. (Which suits me just fine. I'd rather be ignored and left to my own devices than tripping over my words in a painfully awkward conversation.) Then, Cedric walks in. He starts walking towards me, which kind of worried me. I was afraid that maybe I was in his spot. But, no. Loudly, he tells me that he likes my hair and asks if I can do the same for his hair. I kind of murmur that, probably not. My navy hair was actually and accident, but I could try.
Back to lunch. So, I'm sitting alone, and Cedric sits down across from me, and asks how I like Chorus class. (It's my second day, and I totally can't remember him being in my Chorus class.) I've only had a quarter of a conversation with this kid, so I'm awkwardly looking around, and generally making things awkward. Enter Ben. He comes, and sits next to Cedric. Then, he asks me how I like Chorus class. I don't know him, either. So I ask if the both of them are stalking me or something. Ben laughs and says that he's in my Chorus class, and pointed me out to Cedric. Again, being the awkward aardvark that I am, I kind of giggle.
Then, Cedric and Ben make the biggest mistake. They ask me why I'm wearing earrings in the shape of a two. I suddenly turn from the girl who can't form a full sentence to the girl that won't shut up. Suddenly, I'm spewing information about how two is the best number, why it is that way, how it relates to the Fibonacci sequence, what the Fibonacci sequence is, and other such mathematical jargon.
Then, as quickly as it started, it ended. Once I had exhausted my mathematical knowledge, I shut up and went back to Awkward Dylan. Of course, the two of them were sitting there in stunned silence. Cedric recovered first with, "Cool! I'm sitting next to her now!"
Either later that night, or the next day, I get a friend request from Ben. I didn't know who he was, so I ignored it. Five minutes later, a little chat message pops up from another Chorus friend, Sidney. She asks if I've friended Ben yet, and tells me that he's in our Chorus class. So, I friend him.
Cue the flirting. I've gone into it before, so I'm not going to rehash it. Turns out that Ben wanted to talk to me before, but couldn't get up the nerve to do so. So, thank you, Cedric. Without you, I might not have my best friend.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Roommates

For a few years now, whenever I think about roommates, I really just want to live with guys. I have little desire to live with other girls, and no desire to live alone. (Everybody tells me that I will "grow out of this," but I am a nervous narwhal and really don't think that living on my own would be right for me.)
Back on track now. Whenever I mention wanting just guy roommates, everybody tries to deter me from it. I don't know why, but I would much prefer to live with three/four guys and my cat than three/four girls and my cat. (My cat is a given in any living situation. I'd be lost without my Zoe-Bowie.) And I don't understand it. I'm not a mind reader, and I certainly do not know everything there is to know. Why is my desire to live with men so taboo?
I've gotten that it's a bad idea because they'd just hit on me and stuff. But, guys don't hit on me now. How is knowing that I sleep with a movie on going to make me any more attractive? That mindset does not make sense to me. Young as I am, I'm pretty sure that not all guys are total sleaze-bags, and I'm pretty sure that I could find nice, non-sleazy roommates.
It's not that I prefer guys to girls or anything like that. I can just see myself living with guys more easily than I can see myself living with girls. But who knows? Not I. I'm not moving out for a few more years. So it's totally up in the air whether or not Zoe and I live alone, or with a girl, or with a guy, or with many girls, or with many guys, or with a mixture.
I guess I just want to know, what's the big deal with co-ed living? Certainly there are older, and wiser people reading. So, what's your take on it? Who would you like to live with? Girls? Guys? Both? Neither? Maybe I'm just an oddball. Maybe I'm just ignorant on the discussion of roommates. Maybe it's my young mind at work. Just let me know what you think? =) Thanks.

Friday, August 10, 2012

We vs. Me

ego vs. soul
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So, I just recently came across this image. And I love the general message it conveys. However, I do have some issues with it.
1) Me vs. We. We're taught that we can never think of ourselves and put ourselves first. That we must always be caring, and giving, and put others first. I'm here to say: No. Stop that. Put yourself first. Not all the time. A 24/7 "me, me, me" attitude isn't healthy. And nobody likes it. I wouldn't want to be friends with somebody that ONLY thought about their selves. However, you do need to put yourself first sometimes. Don't go through life people-pleasing. Because, if you give up everything to make others happy, what happens when they leave? You're just lost and don't know who you are anymore. So, putting ourselves first needs to be taught and people need to know that it's OK to do sometimes.
2) Pride. Pride is not negative. Again, in small enough doses, it's excellent to have. Of course, you can be too prideful. But society is watered down and to think that we're something worth noticing is negative. If people show an inkling of pride, they're conceited, self-loving, and terrible. But that isn't true. There's a difference between thinking that you're pretty, or that you have a nice butt, or that you're really good at something, and thinking that you are just all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips. We need to be proud of ourselves. It's OK to do.
Those are really the only things I have big problems with. Of course, we can't just live for the now. Now, it's easier not to do my homework. But, how is that going to affect my future? Or what's the benefit of eating the avocado as opposed to the pizza? We need to think of the future. And we can't entirely ignore our past. It's what made us who we are today. Power isn't necessarily a bad thing. Too much of it, yes. But to just be powerful? Nah. Susan B. Anthony had power, and she used it properly. Voldemort had power, and he used it improperly. It's all just how you use that power and what you do with it. 
Actually, everything is just about how you use it and what you do with it.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Dentist

I went to the dentist today. I needed some cavities filled. Needless to say, it entertained me greatly. I'm going to give you a string of events, and they won't form a story, but they will be fun snippets.

I sat down, and the assistant said that there was a new dentist, and he was a man. Except for, her words were, "He's a man now." Like, he wasn't a man last week, but now he is.

He walked in and said, "Yeah. I've seen her before. We go way back. I knew her when her hair wasn't green."

They shot me up with Novocain. First, I got four shots in the right side of my mouth. (By the way, the shots don't hurt at all. I didn't think he was doing it. BUT the needle looks absolutely terrifying. It's this huge metal syringe, and looks way too hardcore to fit into my mouth.) Then, after he had been drilling, I winced and got two more shots on the right, in front. This was at 11:30. It's now 5:30. I still can't feel my mouth. The ones in my cheek have worn off, but the last two are still kicking.

While they were waiting for my shots to work, they X-rayed my mouth. The assistant was having problems, because my mouth was too little. Fun fact: I have very groovy teeth. They have really deep ridges AND extra ridges.

Then, they began working on my face. It was weird. My mouth was full of cotton. Not the normal wad in the jaw, wad by the tongue. No. They gave me a rubber thing to hold my mouth open, so I wouldn't have to keep it open while they did it. So that filled the left half of my mouth. Then, I got two or three wads to keep my tongue out of the way, plus the standard one to hold my cheek out. And, because of my tiny mouth and lack-of-muscle-control, I got a cotton pad on my cheek. (The assistant kept sucking my cheek with the water-sucky device. So they put that there.) It was like a quilt in my mouth.

Dentists work in your mouth. But why does everything taste so nasty? The numbing gel tasted like bubble gum, the Novocain nearly caused me to vomit on the dentist, all the tools tasted icky, and the fluoride foam was disgusting. It doesn't make sense to me!! My saving grace was that they kept a near-constant stream of water in my mouth.

Moving on, they were working and the assistant had the tools angled so they were poking my tongue. It didn't hurt or anything. It was just unpleasant. So I made a face. The dentist asked if it hurt, I shook my head. The assistant asked if it just kind of hurt my gums a little. I nodded. To that, I got a nudge and a, "Well, you could've told me that!" Yes. I could've told you with my mouth full of tools, hands, rubber, and cotton. Thankfully, a sassy reply of, "She's not going to tell you it hurts! You'll give her another shot!" I laughed in my mind. In reality, I probably just wrinkled my nose.

I never knew how much my mouth would stretch until today. There was all sorts of things in my mouth. Every time I thought, "Nothing else can fit. I'm stretched to the breaking point." Something would stretch my mouth even farther. It was pretty cool.

After my fillings, I went to have my teeth cleaned. As the woman was sucking out the fluoride, she kept asking me to close my mouth. I honestly thought I was, but I had no control. Eventually, she would just hold my lips closed for me.

All in all, it was a pretty schnazzy visit to the dentist. I really liked everybody there. They were all really nice and funny. And I thought y'all would enjoy my oral stories. =)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Disney and Feminism

What is with this new kick of harshing Disney movies because they aren't feminist? Is it because Brave just came out or something? I don't understand it. And, to be honest, it kind of irritates me a little.
I consider myself a feminist. And I absolutely adore Disney movies. Because I take them for what they are. They're movies for little kids. They're meant to be fun, child-friendly, appropriate for all ages and homes.
Well, they don't give proper feminist messages!
First of all, look at when they were made. I mean, Snow White came out in 1937, for crying out loud! Beauty and the Beast was made in 1991. I mean, they're pretty old movies. And they're designed for children. (Plus, many of them are based off of fairy tales. The best known are Grimm's fairy tales. Those things are from 1811! There were not many feminists back then.)
Children who care more about singing crabs and fairies than they do about bra burnings or the evils of patriarchy. They don't care if Aurora is repressed! They don't care if Jasmine is nothing more than a sex symbol! THEY'RE FIVE! They only care about the woodland creatures in the Phillip's boots and Genie's next joke.
And, for the older ones, we should be mature enough to take them at what they are. Cartoons. Fun little movies. There's no need to nit-pick the finer details of Cinderella. We can just enjoy Fairy Godmother without giving a dichotomy on her.
Well, what is this teaching our children?
YOU SHOULD BE TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN! You brought the critters into this world. Now raise them. You teach your kids that Cinderella isn't just a piece of meat. It's your job to instill morals, beliefs, and feminist slogans into your children. It's not Disney's job. They don't care. Their princesses are obviously successful. Billions of people love them and their movies. Don't go ruining it for us. We know that Ariel makes bad choices. Teach your kids not to make those same choices.
And, if you honestly hate them so much, don't watch the movies. Don't purchase from Disney. Don't sit your kids in front of the telly to rot their brains with sexist propaganda. Nobody's forcing you to do that.

All in all, just relax. Take the movies for what they are. Children's movies designed for entertainment. Teach your kids that women are not prizes to be won (bonus for anybody who got that reference) and actual people. It's not Disney's job to raise your kids.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sleep

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Sleep. It is a vital process. Everybody needs it. Everybody is friends with sleep. Except me. Sleep and I have a very volatile relationship.
I think I'm programmed to be a night-owl. However, I do not like it, my mother does not like it, and my social life (what little there is) does not like it. However, sleep enjoys toying with me. I can stay up really easily. In fact, I started off this summer going from 10:00 bedtime to midnight to 6:00 in a matter of days. I'm fine with sleeping at midnight or two. I can still wake up in time to be a normal human.
However, if my friends want to do something at 5, I will have to wake up early to get ready. Which is ridiculous. I don't enjoy sleeping all day. Sure, I beat the heat. And everything else there is.
Plus, with my wacky sleep schedule, I'm always tired! Ben came over the other day. I was sleeping when he got there. He woke me up. I stayed awake for half an hour. Then, I fell back asleep for two hours. The only reason it was just two is because he woke me up. I stayed awake for a few hours, but he had to drag me away from the edges of a nap multiple times. We went out for dinner. I passed out in the car. And not cute, snuggles and cuddles napping that I usually do. No. Stock still, head thrown back, mouth wide open, completely ignoring his presence passed out.
I don't like this at all. I do not like it, Sam-I-Am. So, I try to go to bed earlier. No way, Jose. I can screw my schedule up, but there's almost no way to fix it. I can not go to bed earlier if I try. Put me in a car? I slept all the way to New Hampshire once, simply because I was bored. I sleep through entire states on road trips. Georgia? Nope. We are not passing through Georgia with a conscious me.
I have formed a diabolical plot, though. I am going to get very little sleep tonight. I will go to bed early tomorrow. I will get very little sleep tomorrow. I am going to back it up until I get to sleep at midnight. Wish me luck!

Note: Why do people say "sleeping like a baby"? Babies are terrible at sleeping. They're always waking up screaming bloody murder. That's why you never see well-rested new mothers.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pro-Tattoo

I recently came across an article opposing tattoos. And, normally, I wouldn't mind. However, this person was just being plain rude, in my opinion. Whenever I mention tattoos I get a slew of responses opposing them. "What will they look like when you're old?" "You're going to regret them." "You're so pretty. Why ruin it with tattoos?" "They'll look gross in a few years." "Have you thought about when you get a job?" "You were made a certain way." "If you're just going to hide them, what's the point?"
Well, let's look at these arguments. Maybe it's just because I'm young, but I would like to voice my opinion anyway.
1) When I age, my tattoos will wrinkle. When I age, my skin will wrinkle. I will be an old prune no matter what. I might as well have fun when I'm young. The way I see it, if a tattoo makes me happy for almost forty years, I can deal with twenty years of grossness. Because that's a permanent memory on me. And, the way I'm planning my tattoos, I won't be faced with them every single day. And, if somebody sees my tattoos and decides that they don't love me because of them, fine. I don't need you anyways.
2) You're going to regret them. Maybe. However, I plan on putting a lot of thought into my tattoos. And, if it's a well thought out, well designed piece of art on me, I won't regret it. And I'd much rather have one bit of screwed-up ink than my entire life regretting not doing something. Many adults have told me something they regret not doing when they were my age. I don't want to ever regret not doing something. I'd much rather regret a few inches of skin after years of happiness than a lifetime of being a stick-in-the-mud.
3) Why ruin your body? The way I see it, I'm enhancing my body with personal, permanent, portable art. Not graffiti. If it makes me happy, then I'm not ruining anything.
4) They'll look gross. Actually, according to this lovely man they're redesigning tattoo ink so it doesn't fade so quickly. I plan on having my tattoos easily hidden. Someplace I won't be faced with them daily. And, again, after years of being happy with it, I'm okay with that. If I really hate it, I can get it removed.
5) A job. This just seems to be everybody's argument against everything. "Don't get piercings. You'll want a job." "Don't get tattooed. Will people hire you?" "Nobody's going to hire somebody with pink hair." Well, I can take my piercings out and cover the small holes with make up. I can dye my hair back or find some place that won't make me change. And, the standby "nobody hires tattooed people." Well, if I hide my tattoos, like I plan to, they won't see it. In fact, I know of a woman with a respectable job that does have a tattoo. And guess what? Nobody knows because nobody sees it. Or! I could be a total rebel, take the Kaylah approach, and become self-employed.
6) The "Born This Way" argument. Well, Lady Gaga, thank you for that. I was also born with terrible vision, but I'm not going to walk into walls. You were born with brown hair, now you're blond. She had her hair chemically straightened. He was born with a heart defect. We were all born this way, and chose to alter ourselves to suit our lives. I'm not judging you for your highlights, please don't judge me for doing what makes me happy.
7) If you're just going to hide them... They make me happy. Do I need another reason? I like them. I want them. If I can buy them and still pay my taxes, why do you care? My mother has dishes for special occasions, just like my tattoos will be. However, nobody tells her she shouldn't have her dishes because you don't see them every day.

All in all, my belief on life is "live and let live." If I'm not hurting you or anybody else, then what business do you have telling me what to do? 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Harry Potter

**SPOILERS** I feel the need to put this, even though everybody should have read the books/seen the movies already. I mean, the last book came out in 2007, and the last movie is two years old. But, still, I don't want to ruin it for anybody.



I love Harry Potter. I am a big fan of the characters, the books, some of the movies, everything. However, what I don't understand, is why people wanted to be around Harry. I mean, let's look at his life:
Infant, innocent child. A notorious dark wizard hunts you down and tries to KILL YOU. YOU ARE AN INFANT! The most you can do is spit up on his robes. He still wants you dead. Is that not sign one?
Fast forward a little bit to his first year at Hogwarts. He's eleven. The year's pretty nice, generally good. Until the end. Then he has a run-in with the same dark wizard who has taken over his DAtDA teacher's body. And somebody dies. Not to mention, his best friend nearly dies in a chess match. Well, that's okay. One person is dead because of Harry. (Well, sorta kinda two because he did defeat Voldemort as an infant.)
Year two. Strange happenings at Hogwarts. Not to mention, a house elf sends him multiple messages telling him to stay away from Hogwarts. He goes. Now, in his defense, he is twelve and doesn't have the best judgement. Fast forward. People start becoming petrified. They can not move. They're basically statues. (This happens to multiple people. Dumbledore only considers the possibility of shutting down Hogwarts. So, I think bad decision-making is just a trait common in wizards.) Everybody believes Harry is the heir of Slytherin. I think that, if anybody considered me to be the heir of a pretty negative person, I'd step back and take a long look at myself. But no. I digress. At the end of the year, Ron's sister nearly dies. Harry has, yet again, another run-in with Voldy. He is followed by the darkest wizard ever and people still hang out with him.
Year three. A very dangerous prisoner escapes and comes looking for Harry. He is found INSIDE the school. But Harry still roams free, as opposed to being kept away from what-could-easily-be innocent victims. Harry then ditches school, confronts said dangerous escapee, has a run-in with a werewolf, and almost loses his soul to Dementors. Why are people still his friends?
Year four. The well-protected goblet of fire only accepts wizards older than Harry. It will only spit out three names. Somehow, it spits out four. The fourth? Underage Harry Potter. After a slew of safe, just-for-fun, near-death experiences, Harry completes a maze. In the center of the maze? THE SAME DARK LORD THAT HAS BEEN GOING AFTER HARRY SINCE HE WAS AN INFANT. (Yes, I know it was a PortKey and everything. I'm just condensing everything.) Harry almost dies fighting this guy yet again and emerges. With a dead student. Yet people still think he's a great guy. Or marked by something that leads to near-death experiences time and time again.
Year five. Pretty boring year, we're skipping to the end. Voldemort, the recurring villain, shows up in the middle of the wizarding governmental building. Harry has to fight him. Again. His godfather dies, his best friend is brutally injured, lots of his peers almost die, but all is well. Harry is right. Let's stick around him.
Year six. Lots of craziness ending up with the safest place in the wizarding world being invaded by Voldy's minions. The headmaster, greatest wizard ever, dies. All of this is culminated by Harry's life.
Year seven is quite eventful. Harry, Ron, and Hermione drop out of school. Hermione erases her parents' memories. Ron puts his entire family at risk. Death Eaters crash the wedding. Voldemort's taken over the wizarding government. Harry goes on a clueless hunt across the English countryside, nearly killing himself and his friends many times, to destroy Voldy. This whole shebang ends in a giant battle at Hogwarts that winds up with every semi-main character dying. Harry dies. Death Eaters nearly destroy Hogwarts. Voldemort gets into the fray himself. (All ends well.)

But, throughout the years, people stay with near-death-experience-prone Harry. The kid attracts death, danger, and crazies like flies. Oh the craziness and poor decision-making that is the wonderful world of Harry. I still love him, though.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Meaning of My Blog Title

So, in case you guys don't know, my blog is titled "Masochistic Beaver on Adderall" or just "Masochistic Beaver." I just wanted to check in and figured I'd explain my blog title.
Masochism is deriving pleasure from punishment. A beaver is... Well, it's a beaver. And Adderall is a drug used to treat ADD/ADHD.
I am not a masochist. I am not ADD. And I am not a beaver. The name is just an inside joke between an old friend and me. Her mother jokingly told us that we had tried to do nearly everything together except start a band. We tried to start a band that night. While creating hardcore, purposely obscure, indie band names, our two favorites were "Masochistic Beavers" and "Penguins on Adderall." We combined the two.
When creating my blog, I needed a funny, yet unusual name for it. "Masochistic Beavers on Adderall" was the first thing that came to mind. But, since there was only one of me, I made it into only one beaver.
I think the word "masochistic" came to mind so easily thanks to Twilight. When creating the name, we were still in the grip of being teenaged Twi-hards. A famous line from the novel is "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb. What a stupid lamb. What a sick, masochistic lion."

And there you have it, folks! The Masochistic Beaver on Adderall!

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I recently watched a movie (and by "recently" I mean "I just finished watching this move") called "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." This will be about that movie. But not a review. More over, the thoughts it triggered. Here's the trailer, because I don't want to sum it up.

(Fun fact: I really like this movie and highly recommend watching it. However, I really do not like Jim Carrey. I think he's obnoxious.)

The whole point of this movie is erasing memories. And, as a thought, it's a brilliant idea. You erase a terrible relationship. No more heart ache, no regrets, no anger. Just, nothing. Your life would be, from your perspective, perfect.
But the whole idea of erasing memories freaks me out. Memories are what make us people. What make us unique. Memories are what separate me from you. We can look exactly the same. We could be identical twins. However, we'd be different. We'd have different memories. Essentially, if it went far enough, that procedure could erase who we are. Which freaks me out.
And, when it comes to failed relationships or bad experiences, that's what makes us smarter. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." And, honestly, I wouldn't erase any of my bad experiences. I learn from them, I grow from them. My relationships are trial-and-error. "Oh hey, it isn't good for relationships when you set their mailbox ablaze. I won't do that again." Next relationship, no burning mailboxes. But I learn that you shouldn't submerge their cats. So I learn. With every failed attempt, we grow stronger. We learn what to do and what not to do. 

I really hope I've communicated thoroughly in this and I didn't seem like some heroin-addict monkey. I've just been staying up super late recently. And I don't like that. My summer bedtime is supposed to be 2. I've been staying up until 6 or 7. So, brilliant me, I've decided to stay up all night and all day and then go to bed earlier tomorrow. Maybe this will work. Maybe it won't. But it will leave memories for me to grow from. And that's all that matters.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ageism

Ageism is prejudice due to somebody's age. And, being a teenager, I see it a lot. It really isn't right. And it isn't cool to do. So I will talk about the various "kinds" of ageism that teenagers, and young people in general, see.

The first one revolves around babies. I've gotten many dirty looks in public, because I dare to be seen with a baby. The baby isn't even mine, he doesn't look like me. However, since I am young, and simply holding the child, he is mine. And we all know what teen moms are like. They all sleep around, are totally irresponsible, won't go anywhere in life, probably tried for the baby because they want to be on MTV, the list goes on.. And on.. And on. But none of it's true! Sure, there are some girls out there that do that. But I shouldn't be forced to wear a scarlet TM on my clothes for simply holding a child. My mom once overheard a nasty comment from a complete stranger because of my brother and I. When I was born, she was 21 and married. Kyle came along 2 years later. She was still married, to the same man. However, because she looked young, it was disgraceful to have kids.
But, honestly, there's no way to win with teen pregnancy. If you keep the baby, you're going nowhere in life and you're a failure and aren't fit to have a child. You're automatically put on welfare and supported by the government. You won't go to college, may or may not finish high school. Your baby daddy will leave you. If you give the baby up for adoption, you'll regret it and wish you hadn't and become a psychopath. If you abort the fetus, you're terrible and selfish and just killed another human being. And, if you are the father, you're a bum and took advantage of her and will leave your child. You're a deadbeat dad and terrible. Your honeymooning stage will only last so long, then you'll leave her. It's really a lose-lose-lose sitatuion.

The second one revolves around appearance. I have a teal mohawk. I oftentimes wear crazy makeup. I get praised for my free spirit and individuality. However, for every compliment I get, I get two glares when I go out in public. I'm automatically a punk, no-good, a rebel, destined to dropout of high school. I automatically smoke and drink and party. I'm the conservative mother's worst nightmare, the person that they don't want their kid to become. However, if they took the time to get to know me, they'd know I make A's and B's. They'd know I love classic movies, Tchaikovsky, and detest underage drinking/smoking. But I am young and look differently than they do.
Don't get me wrong. Teens are just as responsible for stereotyping based on looks as adults are. But I rarely ever get a glare from a fellow teen for having a shaved head. More often than not, they'll stop to pet the sides of my head.

Third one revolves around money. Jessica and Stacy were both stereotyped in this way. A restaurants, waiters will often glare and treat teenagers poorly. We get it, you want a tip, that's where a lot of your money is made. We're no strangers to the plight of lacking funds.
Jessica says that, "Anytime my friends and I would go out to eat, our waitresses would be SO rude and we'd get the worst service. THEY assumed that because we were young, we wouldn't tip well. I was ALWAYS a good tipper. They missed out." My mom got the same treatment once, and the guy wound up fired for it. But, honestly, you would get great tips if you were nice to a group of teenagers. No, we don't have endless pockets. However, if it's a decent group, we'll all chip in a few bucks for tip. I know my friends and I once went out to get pizza. Our waiter was so nice. We spilled two drinks and he just laughed it off. At the end of the night, our waiter got a really nice tip. There were about seven of us. We couldn't tip him more than a few bucks each, but, by each contributing what we had, he got a really hefty tip. (Note: It was all in ones and loose change. But money is money.)
Stacy got stereotyped in the stores. "The store clerks look at you weird and keep checking on you because they think you won't buy anything, you'll just steal." Yes, there are teens that do steal. However, that's not every single one of us. Mall cops once followed a group of friends and me through the mall. Apparently, we were too big of a group, so we were a gang. So many stores asked us to leave, because large groups of teenagers provide distractions for one of us to be able to steal. It was ridiculous. Then, to make matters worse, the fire alarm went off. No less than three mall cops vaporized out of thin air around us. We were nowhere near a fire alarm.

Fourth one is mental capacity. A lot of adults feel that, since I'm a teenager, I'm not capable of forming intelligent thoughts. Katie would often have people stop talking to her once they found out her age. Cass was told that she was too young for things. (I don't know what things they were. Because telling a twelve-year-old she's too young to drive, okay. But telling a seventeen-year-old she can't go to pride, no.) Recently, I was involved in a debate/argument on YouTube. The "gentleman" that I was arguing with told me that "once I grew up I would understand, and they didn't feel like wasting their time on a silly, clueless little girl. I should go crying to Mommy and Daddy, and let them tell me their grown up opinion. I still have a lot of growing up to do." I was yelled at to "GROW UP" and told that they weren't that clueless at my age. Because, since I am younger than thirty, my brain is obviously not capable of rational, adult thought. I'm just a silly little girl and don't understand anything about the world. Another YouTuber was so nice to chime in that I was "zit-faced and pea brained. I was dumber than a load of bricks, obviously a blond. And, that, if I was their child, they'd slap me." (Note: Hair color has nothing to do with intelligence. And, I may be young, but physical abuse is not the way to educate a child.)
It just really rubs me the wrong way when people seem surprised or amused by my thoughts or reasoning. I deserve a say in matters. I'm clever when I agree with you. Don't smirk when my thoughts differ from yours. No, my brain is not fully developed yet. However, it won't do a thing when I'm constantly being put down, belittled for my age, told that I'm not smart enough, that I need an adult's opinion because I'm not capable of rational thought. I am an Honors student. I work my butt off to get A's and B's. I just left a school for the gifted and talented. I understand such concepts as Schrodinger, Freud, and Fibonacci. But, if I offer my opinion on such matters as education, gay marriage, or anything else that adults discuss, I'm just a foolish little girl.

Finally, there is general stereotyping. And, of course, they can't stereotype the good or neutral things. They can't assume that we'll be studying every night to ace our exam, or tutoring each other in Spanish. They just stereotype that we'll be drinking or smoking. Nessa was often looked at as a demon child, because her peers drink and smoke, they automatically assume that she does, too. That's entirely unfair. I don't consume alcohol. I've never even put a puff of tobacco in my lungs, much less marijuana. But teenagers before me have kind of destroyed any record I could hope of having. Lexi was kicked out of the talent show in middle school, because "all the sixth graders didn't sound right."

I hope that, through this, I've prompted some of you to think before you judge somebody based on age. Sure, they may have pink hair and a nose ring. That doesn't make them terrible people. And the girls in jeans and tshirts aren't automatically saints because they don't look freaky. All in all, we're people, too. We have feelings that get hurt, just like yours. In fact, I would venture to say that ours are hurt more easily than yours. Being a teen, we have enough to deal with. We don't need your glares and whispers. Thank you very much for treating us like real people. We think. We may not always have the best thoughts, but we're still learning. Give us time. You wouldn't belittle a toddler for stumbling and falling while learning to walk. Don't belittle us for stumbling. As my parents always say, growing up, we're going to fall on our face sometimes. But that doesn't make us down-and-out.


Huge thanks to my Swamp Family for their additions to this! I love all the feedback I got for it, and tried to include everything I got. If you didn't make it in time, feel free to comment below! <3 Thanks again and huge hugs!


Update: Kelsey is told, by her mom's boyfriend, "you're seventeen years old. What do you know?" whenever she tries to give her opinion on something.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tattoos Part 235

I'm very picky about tattoos. And I change my mind quite a bit about what I want. However, I've started to keep a notebook of tattoo-ideas. The way I see it if I still want the same tattoo when I'm old enough to get them, I can do it without much regret. However, if I don't want it, oh well. It was an idea. So here are some of my current favorite ideas:

  1. I want to get feet tattoos. I just like them. And I want my mom and dad to write a little note to me on my feet and get those notes tattoos. Nothing long. I don't need an epic poem, my feet are only an 8.5! But just "At least it wasn't towels <3 Mama" would be nice.
  2. A Fibonacci spiral on my back. I'm quite in love with math and Fibonacci. I'd want a large shoulder piece, but I don't want a lot on it. I want something very simple. Plus, it would be a sort of tip-of-the-hat to Mrs. Booth, one of the most influential people in my life.
  3. I want children. And I think it would be really awesome to have their feet tattooed up my side. Like the traditional baby feet, but with a twist. I only have two shoulders (reserved for Fibonacci) and I want four kids.
  4. As a nod of the head to my ChaCha and Grammy, I want to get "to die would be an awfully big adventure" and a fairy (maybe Tinkerbell, maybe not) at the base of my neck. ChaCha loved Peter Pan and Grammy loves Tinkerbell.
  5. A Lord of the Rings quote. This one doesn't have a profound meaning or anything. I just like it. "The crownless again shall be king"
  6. Then, for my Granny and PopPop, I'd love to get a little frog with a mustache, chef's hat, and John Lennon glasses and have the little frog be holding a whisk.
  7. "Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars." I just think it's entirely romantic and fantastic that we are made of stardust.
  8. "We are such stuff as dreams are made on" I just love that quote. Dreams are a source of endless fascination for me.
  9. This one I am very on-the-fence about. It is a quote from the Bible. However, I found it in A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L'Engle. I really like the quote, but I'm not a religious person. I never have been. And I don't want people to get the wrong idea from it. But, what the heck! I have years to decide. "And the light shineth in the darkness. And the darkness comprehended it not."
That's it for now!

Monday, July 2, 2012

#ToMyFutureKids

There's a trending topic on twitter that's "To My Future Kids." I have a lot to say, and 140 characters won't cut it. So here we go.

To my future kids:
I really don't care what you grow up to be and what you do while you're growing up. As long as it doesn't hurt anybody, do whatever you want. If you want to dance, dance. If you want to play sports, play sports. If you want to be an artist, just let me know what you need. However, whatever you choose to do, you better be the best you can be at it. You don't have to be number one. I don't expect to give birth to the next Picasso (though that would be nice). However, I won't tolerate a few half-hearted stabs at a canvas, or a slow jog around the soccer field. If you're going to do something, you commit to it. You don't have to grow up and go to college on a soccer scholarship. If you don't like, you finish the season and don't do it again. But you give your all at whatever you choose to do.
Don't let anybody tell you that you can't do something. In fact, use that as inspiration to work harder. If somebody tells you that you can't really dance, use that to fuel your drive. I'll be there cheering you on all the way. You can do it.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes. You'll mess up. If there was one way to live life, we'd be born with an instruction book. I know that I'll make mistakes. Mommy won't be perfect. However, mistakes are what make you unique. And never regret anything you do. If it made you happy at some point, then it's done its job. Just let it go when you're done. Forget about it and move on.
I don't care what you grow up to be, as long as you're happy. If you want 45 tattoos and 12 piercings and to be a musician, let me know when your next concert is. If you want to be a teacher, or a lawyer, or a dancer, you go! And that also goes for sexual orientation. Son, if you feel more comfortable as my daughter, become my daughter. Daughter, if you aren't so into boys, you'd better let me meet your girlfriends, for we'll hold the same standards no matter who your partner is. As long as you're happy and know what you want to do in this world, I've done my job as a parent. (But I better get grandkids out of one of you.)
You will finish high school. You will finish college. You will not skip school without my permission. You will be respectable citizens. Period. End of story. I don't care what you choose to do, but you will get a degree in whatever-it-is.

To my future daughters:
You are gorgeous. The other girls are silly, and jealous, and don't know how to deal with their emotions. Don't let them tell you you aren't good enough. And don't tell them that they aren't good enough. You're perfect in my eyes. You'll be perfect in somebody's eyes. Just give it time. Growing up sucks, and isn't for sissies. Your weight is fine, your nose isn't crooked, my hair stuck out in crazy directions, too. Just ignore the naysayers and be your own person. The people worth being with will see how perfect you are. If not, Mama will have Daddy beat them up for you. And the boys (or girls) you bring home better treat you with respect. I don't care what their appearance is, they better be a nice person and tell you how pretty/wonderful/smart/funny you are. Basically, they'd better think about you the same way I think about you.

To my future sons:
Oy vey.. You're the reason why my hair is graying. Let's see.. The same thing I told your sisters goes for you. But don't be afraid to go into theater instead of football. Don't be afraid to like opera better than screamo. Don't be afraid to be unique, and go against all gender stereotypes. I'll be there to support you the whole way through. You'd better respect everybody you meet. I don't care if you don't like them, you'd better respect them. If you ever get into a fight, I'll kick your butt. You'd better treat all your partners with respect. No matter what they say, do, look like, act like, you will support them. If you don't like the relationship anymore, break it off. But be respectful about it. Stop rolling your eyes. Girls, what I said to your brothers applies to you, too.

I love all of you equally. And you will all drive me crazy at times. I might yell at you. But that doesn't mean I don't love you. You're-- quite literally-- a part of me. All of you. So love each other. One day, I won't be here. One day, you'll be all you have left. You will always be siblings and you will always be my babies. =) <3 And I am Italian, so I will have no fear of guilt-tripping you. Let's just clear that up now. There's so much more I will want to say to you, but I'll say it when the time comes. Until then, stop that. Whatever you are doing that you know I won't/may not/might possibly/could ever not like. Stop it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Why Teddy Roosevelt was the Coolest President Ever and Why FDR Sucked in Comparison

Why Teddy Roosevelt Rocks My Socks:
He was a sickly child, but Teddikins (my affectionate nickname for the greatest guy ever) went on to do so many things.

  • He was born in October. Which is, like, my second-favorite month. So, right there, he was a pretty schnazzy fellow. Then, he was born in New York, which is my favorite state ever. So, by sheer due date and location of entry, Teddyursa is pretty well-off.
  • He's the second child. Number two.
  • At age seven, he saw a dead seal at the market. Instead of being traumatized, sickly little Teds-Boggins became fascinated in zoology. He even asked for-- and got-- the seal head. Then, he learned about taxidermy so he could kill and stuff his own animals. 
  • At age nine, he wrote a paper about bugs. Just because he could. What a little perdy-nerdy Teds-McGuffin was.
  • He had a photographic memory. He could dictate two separate things to two secretaries at the same time and flip through a new book. If that isn't smart, I don't know what is.
  • He had a serious heart problem and the doctors said he should get a quiet desk job. But Teedie didn't. He chose a very strenuous life.
  • His wife and mom died on the same day. Teddy never spoke of either death. He kept a diary. The entry that day was, "X The light has gone out of my life."
  • Three outlaws stole his riverboat. Teddy hunted them down. But, instead of killing them, took them to a trial. He guarded them for forty hours, reading to keep himself awake. 
  • He married a woman named Kermit. And had a son named Kermit.
  • He's the only US President to be awarded the Medal of Honor. 
  • When McKinley died, Teddy kept his ways. He didn't replace them with his own. It was like McKinley was still in office. Except he was dead. And Teddy was there. And, let's face it, Teddy was way cool. Why?
  • McKinley died from a gunshot. Teddy was shot and, without seeking medical attention, gave a speech. Why? Because he figured that, since he wasn't coughing up blood, he would be okay and hadn't been gravely wounded by a gunshot to the chest.
  • His speech was ninety minutes long. He began it by saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose."
  • He was an avid hunter. He killed everything. His house is actually kind of creepy. But still really cool. He has everything in there!
  • The Boy Scouts named him Chief Scout Citizen.
  • He led the Rough Riders.
  • He dug through a country. Laterally, of course, but still. He commissioned the Panama Canal and was there for the entire thing.
  • "The old lion is dead." was the announcement his son Archie sent out after Teddy died of a heart attack.
  • He boxed, even though he was blind in one eye, due to a boxing accident.
  • "Tread softly and carry a big stick."
  • He kept a badger as a pet. The badger was named Josiah.
Now, why FDR sucks in comparison.
He was a sickly child. But, instead of growing up to pwn the whole world, he got defeated by mud. That's it.