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Two Cultures, Two Takeaways [Jan. 9th, 2015|07:29 pm]
dragondances
[Current Mood |confusedconfus]

If anyone reading this thinks that the shooting of 10 cartoonists and 2 police officers in Paris this week was anything other than senseless, awful, and horrifying, those people can leave now.

...All gone?

Awesome. Now the rest of us can talk.

I am of two very different minds when it comes to Charlie Hebdo. Now, I'm not French, nor do I live in France right now. I never read the magazine. But I love France and the French. I studied their language and culture long enough to get a degree in it. When lived in Tours for a semester, I preferred the company of the French people I met to the US students I was living with. While I would be the first to acknowledge their faults, I've always believed French culture had a lot to offer the world and those who discounted them were choosing willful ignorance. Therefore, the news out of Paris has impacted me and moved me to having opinions. I rarely share such on the internet, but I feel like this is a case where I can actually speak with some personal authority.

From an American point of view, Charlie Hebdo can justifiably be discounted as racist, angry frothing from a position of racial/cultural power, intended to belittle a minority which faces constant humiliation and hatred. One of France's biggest problems is how they treat immigrants (by which we mean Arab immigrants) and Muslims. I remember being taught in class that French people by and large view Arabs as lazy and worthless. I remember my high school French teacher's horror when Sarkozy was elected because he was the one who publicly called immigrants "scum" and probably got a lot of votes for it.

I personally see a direct parallel with the way Hispanic immigrants are so frequently portrayed in the United States. But that doesn't mean that the French shouldn't face criticism for their treatment of immigrants who've come to their country in the wake of a legacy of colonialism to try and find a better life. Charlie Hebdo was reducing complex social and economic problems to offensive cartoon stereotypes. They offended people on a religious level, and on a humanistic level, and that was their mission statement. While we deplore an incomprehensible tragedy that never should have happened, we can simultaneously criticize infantile shock journalism. While those arguments lie on vastly different axes, neither is incorrect.

From a French point of view, though, I think I have a glimmer of understanding for Charlie Hebdo and what they were trying to accomplish.

To explain why, I want to talk about our host family in Tours, specifically the father, Xavier. Now, he hadn't intended to host us. The agreement had been made with his elderly mother, but she had passed away a couple months before we were supposed to fly out. All the arrangements had already been made, we were in a bind and didn't know what to do, so Xavier and his family decided to make the best of it and host us themselves. They were kind, loving people with a very French mindset. Jacqueline, his wife, was a Peruvian immigrant. Xavier himself was a thin, white-haired, older French gentlemen who worked for the government, had loud political opinions, and loved nothing more than debating them.

We were a group of eight American college students, nervous about ourselves, each other, our French skills, and mostly raised in the shy, Minnesota-nice, Midwestern culture at Concordia. You can hopefully already see why this was a bit of a culture clash.

Xavier wanted to provoke discussion. He wanted to get us thinking and challenge us. He also legitimately wanted to know what this group of young foreigners thought about things as diverse as feminism, the role of women in society, French cheeses, NASA's decommission of the shuttle program, French politics, US politics, pretty much anything that could come up in the daily news or life. But no matter how he asked us, we were quiet and noncommittal. We clammed up and sat awkwardly around the dinner table, not knowing how to respond or whether we'd anger him if we did.

So he started trying something else. We'd be sitting at dinner, trying to get accustomed to the different food and the notion of multiple courses served sequentially, and Xavier would say something horrible. Frequently it was about women; he calculated that with five of the eight of us being girls that was a good way to get a response. And usually, he would. It would be clumsy and knee-jerk, but it would get us to state an opinion. Then, once the discussion had sort-of started, he would usually agree with us that his initial statement was reductionist and mean. (If he didn't, Jacqueline would usually chime in with a swat in his general direction and a sympathetic look at us.)

The point of all this is that when I look at Charlie Hebdo and what they were trying to do on a larger level in Parisian politics, I see Xavier grinning at us mischievously over his glass of wine, having said that women belong in the kitchen or some such nonsense. I don't know the magazine well enough to know that it's exactly what they were trying to accomplish. Maybe they were honestly racist and just a mouthpiece for French fear of Islam. But the more I look into them, the more it sounds like they were trying to pull back the silence that the French intentionally pile around topics like religion and economic inequality and shock people into saying something - anything! - about what was happening in the world. It's familiar to me, and uniquely French in the way of cavalier disregard of emotion for the sake of discussion.

Now, a US audience is never going to know or recognize that kind of journalism. Maybe it's better if we stick to what we do know, and simultaneously grieve for the violence while we declaim the magazine. But I'm stuck between the two cultures. While I can't claim #JeSuisCharlie because as an American I find them repulsive, I also wish I was in Paris and able to join the national outpouring of French solidarity in their right to offend and provoke discussion.

It's a totally foreign viewpoint, from either side.
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If I Won $500,000 [Apr. 4th, 2014|09:18 am]
dragondances
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[Current Mood |calmcalme]

This is the title of a spreadsheet I just wrote up. Everyone has, I'm sure, thought about their answer to this question, and I was listening to the radio on my way home when they were talking about contest prizes. One of the prizes was $500,000, and I got to thinking again about my answer.

My default and immediate response for whenever I am asked this question is "Pay off my student loans". That would, therefore, still be the case, but $500,000 is a lot of money, and even my private-college-with-no-income loans aren't that bad.

Eventually I broke it down into fifths:

1. Taxes and hiring an accountant. Few people seem to take this into consideration, but this much money is gonna come pretty heavily taxed. Giving the government their due would be my first step, because the amount of the prize doesn't matter nearly as much as the amount I'd actually be getting post-taxation. Also, I don't know jack shit about how to do all the allocation or filing anything, so I'd better have someone on my side who does. I'd love to print out the spreadsheet, give it to them, and let them just tell me which checks and forms to sign.

2. Debt. This is where those student loans would come back in! Pay those off completely and I would be in heaven. I'd also like to fix up my car (maybe get a newer, better one that could last me the next 5-10 years?) and not have that looming over my head. Then I'd want to set aside, say, the next four years or something worth of rent money.

3. My Family. I'm one of those people who feels a lot of responsibility towards my family, and we have always had a policy of share and share alike. I would want to pay off the debts of my Grandmother and my closest aunt, but would also give money to my other two aunts, my three cousins (and have a talk with at least one of them about what he'd do with it...), and potentially my two closest honorary aunts.

4. My Boyfriend. Taking care of our basic needs together (rent, food, etc) would be easy, but I had already assumed that was a given. The actual allocation here would be to support his art- the release of his novels and the movies he's making with his friends. With a fifth of $500,000 I could potentially sponsor their next several films and make sure the Bad Space Trilogy finishes even stronger than it began!

5. Charity/Fun! I had a realization a while back that I have no interest in having money just sitting around. It's only worth having for being able to do good things with it, so I would want to spread it around as much as possible! There are people here on LJ (my favourite artist, my favourite author, one of my favourite bloggers) that I know would appreciate a huge random windfall from a fan. Hopefully I'd be able to present it in a not-creepy way, of course, lol. Plus I have friends that I know could use some help to get the same kind of blank slate I'd be wanting to give myself. Once I've spread around a decent amount of this share, I'd maybe look into setting up an eating-out fund for myself or a trip or something, so long as it wasn't too crazy.

After all this; I'd probably then keep going to work, or at least look into moving for grad school if I did quit. (Hm; I guess grad school should've probably been somewhere on this list!) Basically, I discovered that I wouldn't want winning a bunch of money to change my day-to-day life. I'd just want to settle up with the world and start over fresh, plus maybe bring some relief to other people who might also have financial woes.

And now, to go back to my normal paycheck-to-paycheck. *sigh* At least it's a nice fantasy.
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Prejudiced [Mar. 21st, 2014|11:55 am]
dragondances
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I realized during Freshman year of college that I grew up with a subconscious, bone-deep prejudice against half of the human race, based on their gender. Not the half that's usually the target of socialized bigotry (which would be women) but in my case, I am afraid of and prejudiced against: men.

I remember going in to talk to my assigned adviser early in the school year, a very nice professor in the French department who I had no reason to dislike or fear. We talked about my plan for my four years, which classes I would want to take and when. I left the conversation shaking and nauseous and had to sit on a bench outside to get control of myself before I could make it across the lawn to my dorm. The reason? I had just spent the space of a conversation in private with an adult male. I couldn't shake the conviction that he had power over me, over my college education. That he was older, bigger, scarier, and inherently threatening. And as soon as classes started and I got to know the professor who was teaching my first French class, I switched to having her as my adviser and felt such intense, infinite relief. Because she was a woman.

I realized in the midst of all this that my reaction was not normal. A lot of it I believe is due to my family's particular composition: I was raised by my grandmother, with aunts in profusion, and practically no male influence at all. Uncles, to a man, were retiring and voiceless satellites caught in the gravity wells of our matriarchal universe. The two who were around the most terrified me; they were huge and hairy and liked noisy stuff and tried to tickle me. The only good thing about them was that I could scratch them and get away with it when they were bothering me. So I never got a chance to develop any kind of "normal" response to actual examples.

Also a factor, I'm sure, is the fact that I was abused when I was very young by the last in a succession of my mother's shitty boyfriends. I never knew for sure, but I guessed that was why my grandmother was very careful about my being past a certain age when she let me have a male teacher in elementary school for the first time.

I've gotten much better about my fear of men. I have a vivid memory of an evening from sophomore year, when I hung out with a group of solely male friends and had fun and was just fine. (It stands out because not only had that never happened before but I had never had more than one male friend in a group before college. It felt very monumental.)

But I struggle now with knowing how to speak to guys. Finding ones who are interested in and accepting of the female things I take for granted as conversation topics is oddly hard. And I spend a lot of time trying to connect to a male friend via their female significant other or finding myself speaking only to the women in a room, and only belatedly realize what I'm doing.

At least I can say that I've been much worse about it, but I'm still trying to get better. I appreciate the patience of my current male friends (and especially my boyfriend) in helping me get over my mental blocks, which must seem the most silly from the outside.

It's sobering to realize how much divide there is between the genders, and how difficult that gap can be to bridge. Or maybe that's just me.
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State of the Bibliophile, Part n of whatever [Mar. 5th, 2013|07:36 pm]
dragondances
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[Current Location |North Hollywood]
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

I realized just now it's once again been forever since I've posted here, but I'm swinging back up into a "Let's interact with stuff and people on the interwebs!" mood, so here we are. It also helps that my boyfriend is off doing movie meetings with people tonight, so I have the apartment to myself.

Since I last posted, we found a little 'junior one-bedroom' apartment in North Hollywood. Junior, evidently, means that it's really a studio apartment, but there's a half-wall arch thingy separating part of the main room so you can hide the bed back there and pretend it's two rooms. The arch itself is actually pretty sweet-looking. It's painted teal (we got to pick the color!) and gives the room a cool feel. It's been amazing to have our own place, and not be limited by roommates. There's some friction between the two of us over space and bedtimes, but no more than any couple living together would have, I imagine. And we recently were given a couple awesome bookshelves by a work friend of mine, so it's starting to feel like people actually live here, rather than just coming in to work at the two desks.

Speaking of work, that's also changed a little. I officially took over the full-time graveyard front desk position, which has been okay but not wonderful. Everyone seems to think I'm doing well (I guess my name was thrown around for promotion during our most recent supervisor shortage, which is awesome and also DEAR GOD PLEASE NO) and they've been training me for the actual night audit position, which hasn't happened at this hotel for about... ten years? I've made friends with the auditors, so yay friends! Apparently there's going to be a week in June when I'll actually be able to take over audit work, since two of them are going on vacation. That should be awesome- I'm looking forward to sitting down for a full shift and not being in the public eye unless it's super busy.

On the shitty hand, my "new" computer died recently, so I'm back to the stopgap ancient Mac my boyfriend lets me use. I don't really have the money to invest in a new one, and haven't had a chance to really look anyway, so I dunno when I'll be able to recover from that. It sucks pretty hard, but at least this one is Livejournal- and Facebook- compatible, more or less.

As I mentioned before, I'm currently swinging into a "DO STUFF" mood. This oddly seems to mostly affect housework and internetting. Yesterday I did laundry and a few dishes and made rice for the week. Today I cleaned the bathroom and I'm working on folding laundry and posting on LJ! Plus I've got a dice bag commission I'm working on for a friend in our D&D campaign, and I've been finally making significant progress on the sweater I started for my aunt, like, two years ago. That probably doesn't seem like a lot, but it's around my full-time work shifts. Also, last week I did almost nothing besides work but sleep, so it feels better than nothing.

At some point I should get around to talking about my reading, which has lately been exclusively influenced by Things My One Co-Worker Lends Me. But right now I should finish folding laundry before I have to get actually dressed and go to work. Yay, productivity of sorts!
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The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland And Led The Revels There [Oct. 2nd, 2012|09:24 pm]
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[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

About a year ago I heard about a book with an absolutely wonderful title and a bright red cover with a cool-looking dragon on it. It was written by Catherynne M. Valente (catvalente), who I had heard about vaguely through Seanan McGuire (seanan_mcguire) and knew had written a book called Palimpsest and also (I was vaguely aware) wrote music.

The book, of course, was The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, the illustrations inside are as wonderful as the cover, and the dragon turned out to be the Wyverary A-Through-L, who I and every other reader has instantly loved to pieces. I prattled on to my boyfriend about how great the idea and the title were and how much I wanted to read it, and because he's wonderful he bought me a copy! Even though he thinks fairies are silly and knows it's a book for kids. >.>

I was in the middle of something else at the time and didn't pounce on it immediately when it arrived, but when I did start reading it I couldn't stop. I devoured the entire thing in basically an afternoon, and loved every moment. It's a kid's book that doesn't talk down to children and is exactly as entertaining for adults. It's a fairy tale that doesn't shrink away from the dark parts of Fairyland but also doesn't ignore the wonder of it. And the protagonist is a little girl named September who acts very much like a heedless, adventurous little girl would and is still exactly the kind of person I'd want my nonexistent future daughter to read about. The entire book made me delightfully happy and felt so true that even remembering it fills me with a little balloon of joy.

And now- there's a sequel! The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is now available at all major bookstores and Amazon. It's about September's shadow, who now rules Beneath Fairyland and is causing all sorts of trouble. I'm salivating with how much I'd like to get a copy, but unfortunately funds are tight right now and I'll probably have to wait. In the interests of full disclosure, catvalente is offering a prize box giveaway for mentioning the sequel on livejournal/facebook/twitter/etc, so that's what's prompting this post. (Because seriously, how cool would a prize box from such a wonderful mind be?)

But take my word for it- if you like fairy tales, if you like realistic and still wonderful little girls, if you like libraries and their children, if you like fairy-tale monsters: read these books! Get a copy, make your local library buy it, give it to your friends. It's an absolute delight and you're missing out if you don't.
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State of the Bibliophile 2 [Jun. 30th, 2012|04:43 am]
dragondances
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[Current Mood |contentcontent]
[Current Music |Vitamin String Quartet]

In ten months or so since the last time I felt the need to do a complete recap of life, a lot has stayed the same or similar, but mostly everything has changed!

I am now living in Los Angeles with the boyfriend, and we've passed the one year anniversary with little and less fanfare. My poor old car, Terrence, is still chugging along and gets me to work and back. Speaking of which, I found a job! Unfortunately it's hotel work again, but at a Marriott in Burbank that takes the hospitality business very seriously. We've got almost 500 rooms, which means that rather than taking care of literally everything myself when I'm on shift and standing for a full eight hours, there are actual departments and co-workers! I'm at the front desk for check-ins, check-outs, and questions, but other people get to answer the phones, help guests with luggage and directions, deliver things like towels and toiletries, fix mechanical breakdowns, and respond to serious complaints. As much as that makes it sound like I don't do anything all day, it's still pretty busy. They recently moved me to the graveyard shift, which I have mixed feelings about, but it's so much better than not having a job that I'm not really complaining. Also, California labour standards are amazing. I get a legally-mandated 30-minute break during which they feed me, and on overnight shift it's food from the on-property restaurant instead of the basic cafeteria. Not to mention that if I make it past the 90-day probation period I'll get all kinds of benefits, which means I can go to the dentist, get my meds, and start saving for retirement like a real adult!

Unfortunately, working at least 40 hours a week means my free time ends up being severely curtailed. I've started trying to use the pool in our apartment complex every morning when I get back from work (usually around 7:30am), which is getting me both a little bit of a tan and a little bit of exercise. It's more emotionally and mentally helpful than physically, but I'm enjoying that habit and want to try and continue. At the end of July we're going to have to find a new apartment as the shared lease here will be ending. I'm looking forward to having a place of our own and not having roommates any more. I'm not looking forward to finding an affordable place, moving, and the ever-present LA possibility of cockroaches.

Very important to me at the moment is the fact that I now finally have a new computer! Her name is Europa, in my now-tradition of obscure mythological Greek women whose lovers were assholes. She's a Toshiba with Windows 7; I got her for $250 from a college friend who wanted to get rid of an old machine, and she's still lightyears ahead of the poor old Mac I'd been using for a stopgap measure. This means I can check websites! And watch Youtube and Netflix! And it also hopefully means, combined with my work schedule settling down into full-time graveyard shift, that I'll be online more than I have been since the end of May. Maybe it'll also mean that I can get some more reading done and be more active in book-blogging.

So far the most exciting thing that happened this week was a relatively-surprise visit from my friend Wendi from high school, who happened to be in LA for a wedding. We hung out at Hollywood and had lunch at a California Pizza Kitchen, then took the subway back towards the apartment and walked around City Walk for a while, catching up and being ambushed by saleswomen in the Lush store. It's always really great to see my friends from high school; I feel like it's only since I graduated college that I realised how much they still mean to me. Pictures will be posted to Facebook, since I realised that my new computer means that I can post pictures again!

Right now I'm enjoying a rare quiet moment on my day off, internetting in peace while the rest of the apartment is asleep. I could get used to this. :)
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So Many Books, So Little Time [Apr. 28th, 2012|01:27 am]
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[Current Mood |relaxedrelaxed]

Well, my original reading chronicles have had to fall by the wayside since I moved to LA and don't have access to all the books I was reading in order to get them out of my house. Instead, I left six large plastic tubs full of books back in Bozeman, waiting for when I can get them down here with me. But since I didn't bring very many books to LA, it became quickly necessary for me to find a local library, which I did! I also realised that it's been ages since I've talked about the books I've read recently, so now I'm gonna do that.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch was a book my Aunt Barb found and thought for some reason I would like. It's based on a talk given by a professor who was dying of cancer, as both a summation of his life and a message to his young children when they were grown up. It was short, so I read it, but didn't particularly like it. There were funny parts, but overall it came across as arrogant bragging about all the cool things he did in his life instead of inspiration that you could be cool too.

Impatient as I was for the new Seanan McGuire book to come out, I re-read Rosemary & Rue. I think I could do a whole post about Toby Daye, though, so I won't go into it. I will say that when Discount Armageddon did come out, I went out and got it opening day and read it in less than 24 hours. It ended up being less satisfying than I'd hoped. The main character is kick-ass and awesome, and I didn't mind the shoe-horned-in Urban Romance subplot as much as some, but overall it didn't pack any of the emotional punch of FEED. Also I don't get everyone's obsession with the mice; there were so many other, way cooler cryptids (like Istas!). I am excited to keep reading the series, though, mostly to see more cool interpretations of folklore-meets-modern-day.

Timothy and I have been reading the Barsoom series recently, and have managed to get through both A Princess of Mars and The Gods of Mars, the former in time to go see the John Carter movie version. I've loved Barsoom since I was in middle school, so it's nice to get back to it, although the story does suffer some from not being quite as cool as I remember. I'm excited to eventually get to Chessmen and the played-with-people-as-pieces gladitorial chess game.

And now I finally get to the books I checked out from the library! In wandering around, I realised they had Ender's Game, which I managed to somehow not read as a kid and figured I ought to. Overall, it was good and I can see why people like it. I gave it four stars on Goodreads! I do think I would have liked it more if I had read it at the right age and/or not been spoiled on the fact that the game was real. (One of those books everyone assumes you've read and so they spoil it without thinking... *sigh*) My favourite part was the ending and the hint that he could bring back the aliens after destroying them. I'd be interested in reading more of the series some time.

Then I found People of the Book, which was recommended to me by the woman who taught me how to mend books as being Relevant To Those Skills, which it certainly proved to be! There were a lot of things I liked about it, and I like it more on reflection than I did initially. With the understanding that the whole journey of the Sarajevo Haggadah as presented is an imagined account, she does a very good job of still making it seem realistic and plausible, even to the depiction of humanity at its best and absolute worst. There were parts that were absolutely repugnant, and other parts that were beautiful. Literary fiction has a harder time keeping my attention than fantasy or science fiction, and it definitely did that!

One more trip to the library, and I got Stranger in a Strange Land, continuing my recent trend of reading SF classics I've never gotten to. This book was a lot weirder than I expected it to be, but somehow I still ended up liking it despite myself. The characters were interesting, the obviously-sixties views of things like homosexuality and gender roles were sort of amusingly outdated, and the religious commentary packed quite a punch! It almost lost me with the angels, but brought it around by the end. My favourite character has to be completely-tattooed Patty, who by some injustice is not even mentioned on the Wikipedia page.

I made a good-faith effort to read Naked Lunch, which turned out to be impossible. I got maybe halfway through before I just had to stop. My ex loved the shit out of it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that his love of it was influenced by just how many drugs he was probably on when he read it. You'd have to be high to follow that insanity. Maybe I'll go back some day and do a bunch of research and figure out a way to persevere through it with the understanding that it's not a narrative, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

Penultimately, I read The Counterfeiters by André Gide. We were meant to read The Immoralist in my French Lit class but ran out of time, and now I'll probably want to go back for it. This was a book that I really wish I could have found in French, and might have to re-read in the original text, since there were so many sections that obviously were difficult to translate. I liked it well enough, though, and think the re-read would be worth the effort. In a similar vein to Nizan's Antoine Bloyé, it describes French society during a specific era and tries to comprehend that zetigeist, although Counterfeiters is an ensemble rather than an individual examination and focuses on societal perceptions of things like homosexuality and sin and family rather than existential being. It's the sort of thing I'd like to study more than just read, for more specific background and literary interpretation.

The last entry in this gigantic Book Catch-Up is Ursula K LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven. I either really need to find some better LeGuin or accept the fact that maybe I don't like her. This book, much like The Left Hand of Darkness, was really interesting on an intellectual, ideological level, but fell down hard on the narrative. The characters were better; I liked them pretty much throughout, which could be because there were fewer main ones and since it's so short LeGuin had to pack their characterization more tightly. It's well written, technically, and the concept is interesting. But I felt no sense of continuity or of completeness by the end (god, I really didn't like the end). It felt very dreamlike, with the randomness and lack of meaning that dreams have. On reflection, that could very well have been intentional, but it didn't make me like the book any better.
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I Don't Wear Make-up (But When I Do) [Mar. 27th, 2012|10:27 pm]
dragondances
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[Current Mood |optimisticoptimistic]
[Current Music |The film editing in the next room]

Today was a wonderful day. I woke up early for an appointment with a temp agency that will hopefully move me towards getting a job. When I got back it was sunny and wonderful, so I wanted to go swim in the pool. Instead, I'd heard about a Facebook event where BBC America was giving out free food at a bunch of food trucks in Santa Monica, so Timothy and I decided to go get free food, maybe see some of the first episode of their show (they were showing it at the thing) and also go see the Pacific Ocean! All of these things were a success, despite having to crowd in with lots and lots of people and the beach being twilit and cold.

One thing I kept thinking about throughout the day, though, was how different I tend to feel (and act?) when I wear make-up. I don't normally; my default is to shower, maybe blow-dry my hair, and throw on some clothes. The process of making my wardrobe something that I don't feel embarrassed about in "fashionable" places (Paris, London, Los Angeles) has been a side-plot for about half my life. But the temp agency thing was basically an interview, so I pulled out my nice bra and fixed my hair, put in some subtle earrings, and I also put on some face paint.

When I do make-up, I like to try and make it subtle. A little brown mascara goes a long way, my eyeshadow choices are very light brown and even lighter brown (I'm pale, so sue me), and I use a peach-ish lip gloss. I always figured that you should barely be able to tell that I'm wearing it; it should just be an accent.

But I realise that as subtle as I specifically make it, it still changes the way I feel about myself. Even with nobody around to see it. I *look* in a mirror and am actively pleased with my appearance. I find that I hold my back just a little straighter, I act just a little more mature. I feel adult, and competent, and put-together.

I noticed when I was waiting in line for the food trucks tonight that in both my clothing choices and my face, I felt confident to stand next to anybody I might encounter there. Granted Santa Monica's not Paris, but that's not a feeling I have too often regardless. I'm used to being the sorta shabby bird in any group that's not my close high school and gamer friends. Not ugly, I'm not that hard on myself, but just not actively pretty or fashionable.

Maybe it's silly to tie self-esteem or self-perception into something as base as make-up, and I don't ever intend to be the kind of person who can't leave the house without every hair and eyelash in place. But it's nice sometimes to neaten up and put on some war paint and tell the day I'm equal to whatever it can throw at me. Just for me, just for myself, it was a good feeling.
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WHO IS NEMO [Mar. 19th, 2012|12:09 am]
dragondances
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[Current Location |Studio City, CA]
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[Current Music |Dubstep Legend of Zelda]

For fans of viral ad campaigns (as well as, admittedly, my own personal reasons relating to knowing the people involved) I present the following: Who Is Nemo?

The hunt began with the release of the website, including cryptic splash page video and available-for-download bounty poster. Then the First Bounty Poster sighting, followed by others, one as far away as Sweden!

At midnight on March 12th, the first piece of real evidence was released:


One week later, this video has only just gone live:


Please, spread the word! Hang up bounty posters and post the picture evidence to twitter and facebook! Help the IMIS catch the dangerous space criminal Nehel "Nemo" Morel and bring him to justice!
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The Girl Who Kicked With Dragon's Hornets Playing Fire Tattoo [Mar. 17th, 2012|10:58 pm]
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[Current Location |Studio City, CA]
[Current Mood |boredbored]

I should probably document my move to LA, the drive that accompanied it, my new apartment, and (semi-)desperate search for a job. However, I finally just finished The Girl Who Played With Fire, and I wanna talk about it.

Cut simply for spoilersCollapse )

The unintended side effect of finishing this book is that I now have no books I haven't already read. I might steal one from a roommate for the interim, or continue reading Gods of Mars with Timothy, but in the next few days I'm finding myself a fucking library.
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