INDIEchouette


NYC TUESDAY, LBG WEDNESDAY, RVA SUNDAY

I don’t entirely know why, but lately, I have been having some fucked up mood swings.  One moment, I am on the verge of crying at the jewelery counter at Boscovs with my dad because everyone there is totally insensitive to the blood diamond crisis.  The next moment, I am giddy with delight at the fact that I can eat a tangerine and play The Sims 3:  World Adventures.  One moment, I am curled up in fetal position because I miss you so much, wondering how I would get on without you if I never spoke with you again.  The next moment, I am elated at the fact that I get to go back to Richmond on Sunday.  I am deflated because I feel so spoiled at any gift-receiving opportunity, so self-righteous, I hate myself for being warm in my parents’ respective homes, for being able to cuddle with their cats who are held there against their will, or because many other people my age don’t get these comforts.  Everything wonderful has some problem, simply because I am able to enjoy luxuries.  And technology mostly distracts me and provides temporary relief and more cause for distress.  Reading absorbs and depresses me.  I want to read.  I just can’t bring myself to do it.

One thing I do love unconditionally is giving gifts, though.  Holiday gifts are okay, but I really prefer giving spur-of-the-moment gifts, like monthly mix CDs and crafts and love letters and vegan food.  No matter what, gift giving always makes me feel better.

The only real solution here is to cut back on playing The Sims 3, Country Story, Restaurant City, and Crazy Planets and to start living unvicariously.  I will still  write.

I want to take more photos with my Diana+ Dreamer, too.  I want to take more photos and get more developed and take photos of my crafts and read more and quote more and live more and cook more and eat more and give you recipes by which you should live.  I want to quit eating processed foods.  It all sounds like a New Year’s Resolution, but it’s not.  I’m just realizing that I’m unhappy.  And maybe it’s because I’m home for break, dependent once again.  I resent being dependent.  I do not resent my friends or my family, but I do resent being dependent on them for everything from rides to groceries to entertainment.

At my dad’s house today, Rachael, Alexa, and I tuned in to the middle part of Into The Wild, which is a movie that I would love to see.  It was extremely sunny and beautiful except for the part where he kills a moose, which I have mixed feelings about because it would be okay if maybe he won in hand-to-hand combat with the moose, but he used a gun.  And it would be okay, maybe, if he were truly desperate, but he is not.  I mean, I know that he plans to eat everything, but there is no compassion in the scene.  Even Avatar has some damn compassion for animals.

It was sunny outside of my father’s house, and the sun was making its descent behind the snowy mountains littered with hibernating trees.  At that moment, there was no way that I wanted to die.  I wanted to drag you out onto the Pennsylvania highway with me so we could look at houses from the roads and take photographs of the Lehigh Valley.  I was in one of those moods where I could listen to any song, so I listened to “tinsel and foil” by Paik even though I don’t like it very much even if it is Charlatantric’s favourite song of 2008 or something.  Do you ever get romantic like that on car rides?  Ridiculously idealistic?  Do you fall in love that way?  I fall in love on car rides and journeys of all types.

Here’s a song I listened to in the car today which I enjoyed.  I got this song from a mix CD that came with a book that I am going to give SOMEone for Christmas when I see her.  I wish someone would put this on a mix CD for me.  Instead, I will put this on a mix CD for someone else.

My Funny Valentine | Norfolk & Western
[mf] [buy]

Speaking of excellent songs from mix CDs, Kelsey made me a CD of her favourite songs about a month back, and while the whole entire thing strikes me as brilliant and thoroughly playable, this one song stuck out above the rest.  “Home is whenever I’m with you.”  Yeah, that’s true.  Plus, I can’t get over all of the old-fashioned sayings throughout the song.  It’s the most beautiful piece of elation I’ve ever heard.

Home | Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
[mf] [buy]

Tomorrow, I am journeying with my amigas to New York City, probably the Village, and I will probably fall in love on the car ride and I will miss you dearly.  This travel time will probably clutter my Twitter a little bit.  By the way, pleeeease don’t resent me for having a Twitter.  I don’t think that anything I tweet is important.

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INSPIRATION ALWAYS COMES TO ME IN THE SHOWER…WHEN I’M NAKED

If you want to take the title line analytically for a second, you can gather that being nude allows me to take a moment or two to assess my body.  If you don’t want to take the title analytically, then I am just trying to put images into your head.  Much like Ali does every time she writes me a letter.

THINGS I AM SICK OF:

1.  Inadvertent accusations of fatness.

Britney Spears at the 2007 MTV VMAsThis rarely comes from people in my life (except sometimes from my roommate when she accuses herself of being so fat).  No.  More often, it comes straight from the media.  Today, Virginia (my roomie) and I were channel-surfing during CSI commercial breaks when we came across some documentary on Britney Spears and how she was so fucking fat during her performance at the 2007 VMAs.  Sadly, not only did the celebrity gurus assert that she looked terribly un-sexy in her underwear getup, but Spears herself added that she looked like a “fat pig.”  I have a few problems with this.  One, I have a “fatter” belly than she does–in fact, those photos of her puffed-out tummy and less-than-toned arms are reminiscent of my own.  But I could never rock that underwear getup like she did.  I’m too pale (and in love with paleness).  Two, I think she looks perfectly healthy and sexy, so what’s wrong?  I don’t even want to mention that Spears isn’t acting like a super-good role model (though really, Paige, when does she?) by putting down her own perfectly healthy body, or that the media’s expectations of celebrity women are really just fucked up.

If I got this from you, shoot me words and I will link to your site.

Why am I talking about Britney Spears, though?  Don’t you expect me to be talking about some indie goddess?  Thing is, indie goddesses don’t give me these sorts of problems.  Sure, I’ve been confronted with photos of Jenny Lewis in near-undies and Chan Marshall unveiling her pubes.  But the media simply doesn’t comment on their figures, however nice they are.  This is probably because they’re not pop-icon formulas.  Jenny Lewis does not make me feel bad about my body.  The media pressure on female celebrities does.  And it puts women in competition, too.  I am sick of sizing up other women to determine how much better their bodies are than mine.  I am sick of feeling in competition with my own female camarades on occasion.  That’s something that I feel should never, ever have to happen.  But it does, because instead of accepting many different body types as beautiful, the media accepts one:  thin.  I’m not arguing, by the way, that thin bodies are not beautiful, or that we should apply pressure on thin women to gain some weight.  Thin bodies are beautiful.  But voluptuous (I am not talking Beyoncé; I am talking Gabby Sidibe) bodies are beautiful, too.

I choose to fall in love with women such as Jenny Lewis because I can relate to them.  She is perfect in her imperfections.  We saw her evolve imperfectly in the limelight.  She makes mistakes, she writes about them, she is relateable because her goal does not seem to be being sexual or stunning or unrealistically beautiful.  Her goal seems to be being.  I can do that, too.  That’s where the problem comes in for people like Britney Spears.  Their goals are unattainable, even for them.  Or if they are attainable, they are fleeting.  You can’t hold onto a perfect body forever.  Eventually, even George Clooney will sag a bit.

Another thing is that maybe it’s just a morbid curiosity, but because everyone is telling me I’m fat all across the board, I have gained this terrible, insatiable interest in the way my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriends look[ed].  It’s not to make myself feel good.  It’s to make myself feel like shit.

2.  Hating on body hair.

If this is yours, hit me up and I will linkety link link link.

I have not shaved since early September [EDIT:  My mom has compelled me to shave twice since then]!  My legs are hairy.  My armpits are hairy.  And my mom will flip if/when she learns this information, which is why I have to shave on November 24th or November 25th before I return home for Thanksgiving break.  Refraining from shaving has made me a little more comfortable with myself.  Body hair is natural, even on women.  Why do we shave it?  We do it for men because we think men like it.  Why do we think men like it?  The media projects expectations on us to look like prepubescent girls.  Sometimes when I leave my apartment in shorts, I have to prep myself as to all the reasons why I don’t need to shave, but it’s not like I get to explain the political context to people.  They just believe I’m hairy or dirty or a crazy feminist without even really thinking about any other possible reasons.  I am a crazy feminist, but I’m resigned to the fact that a woman does not need to be hairless to be beautiful, especially if the hairiness comes so naturally.  I’m done with fighting my body on that one.  Unfortunately, I’m even more resigned to the fact that my mom will not take any explanation for this, and that on the sight of unsightly body hair, she will yell and hand me a razor tout de suite.  The only comfort she would probably take in this is the assumption that I’m not getting laid, because what man wants a hairy gnome?

Added afterthought:  Who determined that head hair and eyelashes on women are sexy and that every other bit of hair (besides some very specific eyebrow hair) must go?  If a woman is completely devoid of any hair whatsoever, she is not sexy.  If a woman has lots of hair, she is not sexy.  It all seems like a game.  You can’t have it both ways!

PS Frida Kahlo is beautiful.

3.  Sexist notions in existential novels.

Want.

Male existential novelists are guilty.  Do I even need to put the “male” there?  It seems like every existential novelist, philosopher, and filmmaker is male.  I am an existentialist.  I love existentialism.  But I am sick and tired of the sexist notions littered throughout the books I’m reading.  Kundera says women are sex objects.  Kierkegaard says women are not to be trusted.  Kaufman writes women as obstacles in life.  You can forgive Kierkegaard a little bit because he probably never expected women to gain access to his novels.  You can’t forgive Kundera of Kaufman, though.  I love them both–Kundera for his animal rights reasoning and Kaufman for his ability to write a kickass film–but I am so sick of this unfair portrayal of people like myself.  Not to mention that besides being predominantly male, existentialists are white, middle class, and Christian or atheist.  I guess it can go one way or the other with religion.  If you’ve found any female existential novelists, let me know!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the reason I’m pointing this out is that I’ve been reading loads of existentialism this semester because of a fifteen-page essay I wrote and aced on the influence of early existentialists on modern-day existentialists.  All of my sources were penned by white, middle-class males.

4.  Jon & Kate/Tiger Woods media coverage.

They are simply people living their lives.  I don’t care.

5.  Not being able to level up in Restaurant City because okay, I forgot to feed my staff, but does that mean that my approval rating should drop?

That's mah homeboi.

I like to give my customers a little bit of credit.  Like, if they see that all of the employees in my restaurant are passed out on the floor from sleep/food deprivation (and/or hardcore partying at Erika’s El Paso the night before), don’t you think they’d leave instead of sitting down, waiting for these unconscious waiters and chefs to serve them?  Low approval rating means fewer customers, which means fewer experience points, which means it is going to take me forever to get to level 22.

6.  Songbird freezing.

Meh.  After the latest iTunes update, I’m thinking about converting back to iTunes anyway.  I guess Songbird and Vista just aren’t meant to be.

7.  Ouija Board.

I can’t sleep too well ever since I found out about my apparently long-present secret roommates, Rubi and Zach.

8.  That Kelly Clarkson song.

It is soooo repetitive, SO annoying.

9.  Explaining to people that I am vegan.

Since I’m a mild-mannered, gentle, shy person, I generally don’t want to offend.  In fact, you could say that part of why I don’t want to eat animal products is that I find them offensive.  So it’s a difficult thing for me to explain to people that I am vegan because it is so often offensive.  I won’t eat their food, I can’t share their love for cheese, and I don’t find their jokes about my eating habits funny.  But I’m stuck on the fence because it’s obvious to me that non-veganism is really the offensive route and deviant and just wrong (morally, ethically, environmentally, and taste-wise), but so many people seem to believe that I am the one in the wrong.  Even some of my friends who occasionally declare my journey as noble seem to believe that my dedication is offensive.  Or when they choose a restaurant where I absolutely cannot and will not eat anything, it is I who chose to be vegan, and not they who chose an offensive restaurant.  Fortunately, my mother has finally accepted my veganism and my nose ring.

10.  Jewelery.

Yesterday I had to go with my dad to a jewelery counter at Boscovs so he could exchange some stuff.  The people who shop here are ridiculous, and they don’t know or particularly care that the blood of children was shed for their shitty-ass diamonds.  Another thing is that I am a fan of handmade jewelery that is askew and imperfect (but I guess it wouldn’t be considered jewelery, per se, because I hate jewels).  Jewelery counters sell shit to people who have sticks up their asses.

THINGS I AM NOT SICK OF:

1.  Camera Obscura.

T & The Fonz in Philly

Since August, my life has been set to the tune of this Scottish group.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I am behind the curve on this one.  Camera Obscura is a sixties-reminiscent indie pop band, and they make me feel legitimately amazing.  When I listen to Camera Obscura, I’m ready for whatever Monday chooses to throw in my path.  When I feel ugly, I listen to Camera Obscura and feel prettier.  When I need to brush my teeth, I tune Songbird to Camera Obscura.  When I am behind schedule in the morning and running late to class because I can’t find my keys (and little do I know that they are in my jacket pocket), Camera Obscura is the band for me.  I am a Camera Obscura kind of girl.

Also, I got the amazing opportunity to see Camera Obscura with Alex in Norfolk the weekend before Thanksgiving and they were awesome, as was expected.

Swans | Camera Obscura
[mf] [buy]

2.  Florence.

Florence Henderson.

Just kidding.

<3

Florence Welch.  Ali and I have been raving about her for many months now, with that stadium-filling voice, but when I passed Ali the Flo-torch, she took it and ran with it.  So now we’ve both got serious lesbian fixations on red-haired women!

Postcards From Italy (Beirut Cover) | Florence & The Machine
[mf] [buy]

3.  Fleet Foxes.

There is nothing to say, except that I never talked about them this summer even though they formed most of it with their sweet crooning ever since I heard them in Paige H.’s car while sitting next to Kelsey in the back seat on the way to Knoebel’s.

Ragged Wood | Fleet Foxes
[mf] [buy]

4.  Bitchfest!

I read it on the toilet, which says a lot because the books I read on the toilet must be captivating and absolutely cannot be nauseating.  Not only does Bitchfest educate me on oft-overlooked feminist issues, but it also teaches me how to write a well-structured essay!  I highly recommend this one to men and women, boys and girls alike.  And if you’ve already read it, I recommend Cunt by Inga Muscio.  BITCHfest made me a better woman, and it will make you a better man, woman, girl, boy, or what have you after you’ve read it.

5.  CSI reruns.

I am not much of a television junkie.  In fact, this (CSI: Las Vegas, of course) and [adult.swim] are the only reasons I will usually turn on the television.  It’s a puzzle.

6.  Gray hairs.

I have a lot of them.  Maybe I don’t have enough to consider myself a gray-haired individual, but I imagine I will get there before long.  I’m excited about them because they constitute a natural change in my body.  Plus, how many under-twenties besides Holden Caulfield get to rave about having gray hairs?

7.  Black pitted olives.

I think it’s the vinegar in the holding solution.

8.  jj.

I can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier.  jj is a mysterious Swedish band that makes incredible dream-pop dreamy dream music.  And hey, don’t take my word for it.  Chris recommended them in the comments section of my last post, too!

It was ecstasy when I heard this song.

Things Will Never Be The Same Again | jj
[mf] [buy]

9.  My roommate, Va.

She just asked me, “Oh man, do you write about me in your blog?!”  Now I do.

10.  Eisley.

Note the velcro shoes.

They are dreamy and melodic and beautiful and even my sister, Rachael, likes them.  I wish that Chauntelle still sang.  Her name, when stretched to French, practically dedicates her to the singing tradition (chanter).  I like to quote them and sing along to them badly.

I Could Be There For You | Eisley
[mf] [buy]

11.  Yeasayer.

With such a sicknasty sound and a great Blogothèque presentation, how could one get sick of them?  Alex introduced me to them, and now they are a staple in my collection.

Wait For The Wintertime | Yeasayer
[mf] [buy]

12.  Vegan cooking.

It always seems like it’s going wrong, but it always turns out so, so right.  I can guarantee that I never would have learned to cook this well on my own, even if I were vegetarian.  It takes the vegan push.

13.  My RayBans.

Myow.

I was going to get wire-framed cheapo glasses, but the woman at For Eyes told me that my prescription is so high that even with a thinning procedure, the lenses would be too heavy for the frames.  So I “had” to get RayBans Wayfarers.  While I used to wear contact lenses every day (and night), I now wear glasses all the time.  I’m materialistic in this sense, but only because I can see…clearly…in all directions…without my eyes drying up and shriveling within my eye sockets.  It’s also been established that I have worse eyesight than any one of my friends.  It’s also also been established that I am happy to do a five-second trade with any glasses- or non-glasses-wearer who wants to try on my funny-looking, humongous glasses to try out my horrible vision.  I have been told that it’s like wearing drunk goggles.

14.  Tamagotchi.

His name is Fart.  I got him for 5 bucks at Five Below.  I’m sure some of my readers know that I’ve been an on-and-0ff Tama user for years now, especially since my junior year of high school.  Well, now it’s on and I am not ashamed.

15.  Skirts.

I will wear them for the rest of my life.

16.  This.

Presented to me by Nim, who left me a beautiful comment.

I also wanted to tell you all that I love you.  Yes, you.  I will not leave you.  This particular absence was a vacation to stupidity.  I will write you more petty things very soon.  The whole being-professional thing just doesn’t work for me.