I Left My Heart In . . . Wait, That’s Not How The Song Goes!

March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

 

I’ve been in Seattle this past weekend! It’s so exciting to visit somewhere new & it’s been ages since I’ve been able to go anywhere outside of L.A. except for short visits home. You’ll have to excuse the barrage of very touristy pictures that will be taking up this space in the next few days! Seattle was so cute & small & really easy to get around. It seems like it would be really fun to live there for a year or two.

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There’s Always Time for an Easy Project

March 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Basically this quarter killed me. Or really it just took up loads of any extra time that I had. But there is always time to slowly slowly slowly work on something and I think if I hadn’t done this I would have lost my mind. An incredibly simple pattern from Lion found here. You need to be a member to sign in and view it which is annoying, but besides the few minutes of your life devoted to registration, the pattern is free! It’s basically just a big rectangle that you fold in half & stitch a short bit of each end so it has sleeves. Did that make sense? I’m guessing not, but once you see the pattern you’ll know what I’m talking about. Anyway this thing is really nice to have around. It’s kind of like a crocheted snuggie. It is not quite as embarrassing as wearing a snuggie around may be in public, but mostly I leave it at home and wear it when I return from school or work because there are few things as pleasant as coming home and wearing a blanket for the rest of the evening.

Recent Things

March 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

The quarter has ended! Yay! Spring Break! Party all the time! Not really though because in actual real life I’ll be working on stuff for my degree.

Delicious things.

& then I got totally dramatic & cut all my hair off!

Just kidding, I actually just wanted to cut bangs again.

Music Monday: La Sera

March 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring! Unfortunately, Los Angeles is kind of a seasonless place because I really love transitioning weather music. By which, of course, I mean things that you listen to when it’s no longer predictably hot or cold and you get to see beautiful things like colorful leaves while the sun is warming your cheeks or you go outside wearing a skirt with no tights for the first time in a long time and your legs are like, “What is this magical world of outside?!??”. One of my very favorite transitioning weather albums is Bob Dylan’s, “Desire”.

Anyway, lucky for me, despite Los Angeles’ reputation of summer all the time, sometimes there is a break! A tiny little break that lasts maybe a day or two & then it’s magically eighty degrees or whatever again because I don’t know, perhaps the sun just enjoys hanging out around Southern California. At the very beginning of March, it was freakishly hot. But this week things got chilly which I initially thought was actually an illusion because the time change made me get out of the apartment earlier & when I get a chill in the morning, I’m cold all day, but actually turned out to be a warning of a tiny, perfect, adorable little rainstorm! Today was sunny & windy & this past weekend just felt like the wonderful transitioning period I love so much.

Basically all I was listening to besides Leonard Cohen’s latest (duh) and The Hunger Games Soundtrack (are you excited too?) was La Sera’s new album, “Sees the Light.” I’ve never actually listened to Vivian Girls despite being told numerous times that I would enjoy them (I am the kind of lazy where until you actually give me music I will be “meaning to check them out . . ” for my entire life), but I did get my hands on this solo project of one member. Katy Goodman has this kind of ghost girl voice that I really love listening too & initially I felt like I liked this album because it sounded kind of like Hello Seahorse, but in English, and less ethereal, more gritty. The track “It’s Over Now” feels especially Hello Seahorse-y to me and “Real Boy” sounds like it could have been written by Jens Lekman and feels like summer vacation. The little bounce between these sadder, more retrospective tunes & the more upbeat, cheery ones make it my favorite thing for this week’s faux seasonal change.

Time to Return to Blogging by Talking About Things I Don’t Usually Talk About

March 16, 2012 § 4 Comments

Mimetismo by Remedios Varo. Currently at LACMA’s “In Wonderland” exhibit.

Because that totally makes sense? Here is something that also makes only a questionable amount of sense: I am taking a break from writing to write some more, but on a different subject.

I guess I stopped by to complain. I hope you don’t mind. The thing that I wish to complain about is the way women are treated. I feel like women somehow are treated by society as if we were second rate citizens and no one really tries to keep it a secret and no one seems to be all that upset. Well maybe there are fleeting moments of anger, but then seem to quiet down very quickly.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently (a month-ish ago) opened an absolutely beautiful exhibit, “In Wonderland”, (which I cannot recommend enough!) celebrating women surrealist artists as creators in their own right and not simply as the muses, sidekicks, wives, companions of their often more famous male counterparts. The exhibit is great not just because of the work that is on display, but also because it highlights themes that I feel are prevalent in all women’s lives, regardless of how we express those. I remember walking through the exhibit and thinking, “Some of these things must also be felt by men.” Things like feeling out of place, feeling inadequate were very common. There is heartbreak and there is humor in a lot of the art on display.

For some reason though, it seems like the experiences of women are not as welcome in the world. They get shushed. The reason why there aren’t really art exhibits that specifically honor men as a group is probably because men have already had plenty of chances to sound off. I found it incredibly sad that several of the artist’s represented in “In Wonderland” were never very well known or were shadowed by the artistic work of a more famous significant other.

I also found it sad that an exhibit celebrating the powerful imagination and skill of women opened at the same time that women’s reproductive rights were under debate. In my head, there is no debate over whether or not all insurance companies should provide coverage for birth control: they should. For some reason it never occurred to me that employers would object to including coverage for birth control for religious reasons. What does religion have to do with your health? With your work? I’m not sure. I do know that your health and work are very much related in that if you are unwell, you can’t be very unproductive at work, so why not just give employees the best coverage affordable?

It disgusts me to think of people assuming that a woman on birth control is a woman asking others to pay for her to be sexually promiscuous as a certain infamous voice in the media proclaimed. It also disgusts me to think that people have the right to assume why a woman may take birth control pills and that they have any right to assume anything about her sexual activity and her morals. To begin with, if a woman wants to have sex with no one, one person, or twelve people, it isn’t anyone’s business apart from her and her partner(s). Secondly, if anyone knows anything about birth control pills, it’s not like they protect you from every negative consequence associated with sex. The pill will generally protect you from pregnancy. It does not protect a woman from STDs, UTIs, or negative emotional consequences that could be considered a risk associated with sex. A woman on the pill is not saying, “I want someone else to take responsibility for me”, she is saying, “I want to be in control of my body.”

For some reason, I hardly hear about other reasons why a woman might be on birth control besides preventing pregnancy. What about women who (like me) experience severe physical pain during menstruation and take the pill to lessen that pain? Or women who have a horribly irregular cycle otherwise? Women who take it to help with acne? I don’t understand what that has to do with religion.

Why is it that as a woman, I have to deal with men who feel like it’s okay to refer to me as if I am nothing but a body, a sexual object when I am just trying to do things like walk from point A to point B? And why is it that when some men are being more persistent, no one else stands up for me? I get at most a sympathetic look, how helpful.

Why do women seem to earn consistently less than men, even when putting in relatively equal hours of work? And why is it that fields that seem to have so many women (oh I don’t know, let’s say information science for example) seem to have so few of them in the highest positions?

Women are too often not respected. And for some reason, we aren’t even considered capable of making our own decisions about our bodies, something that we should be able to as legal citizens. I sincerely hope to see a time when women and men are treated equally.

Fall.

January 30, 2012 § 2 Comments

Goodbye, Kind of

January 14, 2012 § 2 Comments


You know how sometimes I disappear into libraries for long hours to write about matters of information science? Those times are back! With a bit of a vengeance as I am also working on my portfolio for graduation & applying for jobs so that I’m hopefully not unemployed for too long after that! This space may be unchanging for a while so do forgive the dullness & in the meantime please check out some of my friend’s blogs in the sidebar!

 

Academically yours,

Denise