LaundryView. A website that lets you check the laundry room in your building to see which washers/dryers are being used and, if so, how many minutes left before they are free! Our campus is registered with the site and every time I have to do laundry (AAGH I HATE LAUNDRY SO MUCH), it’s an awesome tool. Makes me hate laundry that much less.
Feminism. Man, the slow realization that women’s status in even our “we’ve come a long way, baby” society is lower than I had previously assumed makes me so freaking mad! But I need to be mad! We all should be. So we can fight things like this.
Fat acceptance. Ties in with said feminism. I’ve been reading a lot of Kate Harding/Jezebel/Fatshionista this week, and boy howdy am I ready to go out there and proselytize. Liking your body and, in consequence, yourself in it? What a crazy idea! Apparently this “fat acceptance” thing (aka body acceptance, aka size acceptance) has been around for 40 years now, and I am just hearing of it. There are women out there who aren’t focused on losing weight? “Health at every size”: what delicious madness! The things I have read in the fat-o-sphere have simultaneously confirmed my worst suspicions about society as a whole and given me the power to tell that part of society, “Fuck off.” I am sick of watching movies/shows where female characters are called overweight, with the implication being “undesirable” or somehow “lesser” than skinnier people (see: anything with America Ferrara), when in fact the “overweight” character in question is not overweight at all, prompting me or whatever family member I happen to watch this with to say, “That’s ridiculous. I would kill to look like her.” Alternatively, I am sick of seeing overweight women portrayed only in regards to their status as a Fat Person and not at all in regards to them as Individual People With Their Own Thoughts. (A good example is the dating show More to Love, in which a bevy of big women vie for an also-big man; presumably the women have talked on-camera about their interests or thoughts or told anecdotes that did not involve their weight pain, but the producers have successfully edited them so that whenever they open their mouths, they either talk about how “in love” they are with said bachelor –– who acts like a frat guy, FYI –– or they tell sad tales about How They Have Been Discriminated Against/How Their Lives Have Sucked/How They Have Been Deprived because of their size. My heart breaks for these women, but it breaks still more to think how the producers have exploited these ladies to show them only as insecure sad sacks [and, representatively, all bigger women]. “I really want that love story,” one women confesses tearfully on the promo. As if this man, this one man, is the only chance she will ever have to be loved.)
John Cassavetes’ A Woman Under the Influence. Watched this for a class, and hoo boy: this is some movie, all right. Gena Rowlands, playing a woman verging on a mental breakdown, is completely captivating; every time she spoke to a friend or acquaintance I felt supremely ucomfortable, nervous for her even five minutes into the film. Peter Falk plays her husband, who yells at the children and hits her when she starts acting especially crazy, and yet he defends her to everyone else they know. Both come off as bewildered and out of their depth, people trying to do the best they can and failing. A gripping film, even more so for all its loose editing and natural (read: overbright) lighting.
The flute music floating into my room. A suite nearby mine –– I can’t figure out if it’s in the next building or directly below my room –– blasts dance/techno music at an obnoxious volume almost every night, so I can hear bass thumps and synthesizers when I go to bed. Yesterday morning I woke up to discover s/he was blasting classical flute. Baffling! But utterly lovely. Then after a few songs it merged into instrumental piano melodies, one of which (I am certain) was from the score of The Adventures of Milo & Otis.