Monthly Archives: September 2010

put-on-a-show kinda girl

When I found out that Glee was doing a Britney episode I was fairly stoked; considerably more intrigued than I’d been by the idea of a Madonna ep, but less so than by the news of a Gaga episode.  Excited on a nostalgic level, but not overmuch. So it’s fair to say I was surprised when, halfway through the show, I regressed into a fifth-grader.

“…Baby One More Time” was what did it.  The nearly shot-by-shot remake of its music video, to be specific, with the cropped schoolgirl uniforms and dual side ponytails and rogue dancing on the basketball court and whatnot.

I remember seeing the video that first time, on Carson Daly’s TRL (back when I initially tried to invest myself in TRL, because everyone else watched it), and thinking two things: that 1) I wanted her flat abs, so I could be beautiful too, and 2) I wanted to be able to do backflips like that, which [I thought] required flat abs like hers.  Also, I wanted to be a singer, and to dance that well, and if my friend Amanda didn’t already wear her hair in the side ponytails like that, I would like to, except I probably wouldn’t look as good as Amanda anyway, she being more or less the same size and level of attractiveness as Britney Spears.  While I was more or less the same weight as Britney, but significantly (presumably) shorter and bespectacled and lacking the proper musculature/courage for a backflip.  Plus I had braces.  No one in the fifth grade had braces yet.

SPOILER ALERT: I was hugely insecure as an eleven-year-old.

But!  “…Baby One More Time” was a killer song and our class had a mandatory lip sync coming at the end of the year, not to mention a talent show taking place during our pre-graduation field trip to the Boys & Girls Club.  So me and two of my friends decided to do it.  We loosely choreographed some moves, hip shimmies and box steps, and on the day of the lip sync, threw in some (retrospectively) age-inappropriate ass-slapping during the title refrain.  We hadn’t discussed smacking ourselves on the ass, we hadn’t even thought of it.  Why would we have?  We were eleven!  Britney doesn’t even do that in the video!  But, y’know… I got carried away.  So my friends, in a dual effort at sexiness and coordination, followed suit.  We earned ourselves a class request for an encore, which we gladly gave –– with vocals that time –– but the gesture I’d spontaneously come up with caused us to lose the talent show.  (The judges awarded the win to a classmate who lip-synched to “New York, New York.”  Total showboat, srsly.)

This is where, if I wrote for Jezebel, I could break down the story and point out all the ways in which heterosexism and the beauty industrial complex affected my daily existence and what are now my memories.  I won’t do that, though, because… well, duh.  It’s pretty obvious where heterosexism and the beauty industrial complex intersected with my fifth-grade experience.  Or middle school experience.  Or high school or preschool or even college.  Because during much of those periods, there was some girl (or girls) I wished I could be because she was thinner/prettier/more popular than me, which meant she was inherently cooler, which meant she was a better person than I, a “fact” which I theorized was obvious from the very look of me.  People habitually mistook me for a grown woman or a mother of small children.  I looked matronly –– old!  Boring!  Undesirable.  Unkissable, unfuckable.  Not even the then-hip T-shirts with Angel or, more embarrassingly, Hottie –– even then, I sensed, a pathetic gesture –– emblazoned in glitter could hide that.

But I felt pretty fucking awesome when I pretended to be Britney Spears that time.  I felt powerful.  After that, it was okay that I wouldn’t grow up to be someone like her; people didn’t shriek at the sight of me dancing around or find it silly that I’d try.  Ultimately, Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” showed me that I didn’t have to look like Britney Spears to feel like I was Britney Spears.  Corny, yes.  But, I dunno.  Britney’s music was good to bolster myself when I felt terrible in the years after fifth grade, too, especially the one directly after.  “Stronger,” anyone?  “Overprotected”?  “Don’t Go Knockin’ On My Door”?

I guess what I’m trying to say here is, I fucking love Britney Spears.  Who’s with me?  Let’s form a club and make T-shirts.

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a call to arms

Tonight I was all up on the site we call “Twitter” and found out that is offering $10,000 to bloggers in college.  If Rachel or I were still in college, we’d jump at the chance, but as we’re not, I figured some of you might be interested.


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I finally found a bittorrent client that works for both my OS and my religious principles, so if anyone has suggestions for things I should listen to/watch, feel free to share. Although I’ve already downloaded Body Talk Pt. 2 and the new Ciara album, so I may already be done, I dunno.

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the adventures of emma & emma

The honeymoon is over, you guys.  No longer do the frogs float around, holding each other’s hands and touching snouts.  (Is “snout” a legit term in this context?)  Recently, they have gotten into the unsettling habit of fighting each other violently at feeding time.  I feed them as much as instructed as often as instructed, but still, they bite each other on the mouth and snout (as it were) and feet and crotches.  The runt is the instigator, largely because the bigger one gets to their food more quickly.  What do I do in this situation?  The mother in me wants to separate them and yell “Stop the violence!”, but they are underwater and small enough that my touch, Lennie Smalls-like,  might kill them.  Do I feed them three pellets each, or thrice a week, instead of two and twice?  What if they grow obese?  How do you treat obese frogs?


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Stuff Heather Thinks is Super Great

OK, so this “we’ll move the Great/Hate responsibilities to Saturdays” idea I had has not exactly panned out well.  So I’ve been posting on Sundays and sometimes (as now, since it’s nine minutes past midnight) on Mondays.  So somehow, Rachel has become the more punctual of the two of us.  I’m sorry.  I am terrible.  Where are the stocks?  Let me pop my hands and head in them.

I will be on time next weekend, I promise.  If not, I will build a set of stocks myself.

Gaga’s campaign for equal rights.  On a related note, certainly NOT Senate Republicans. Do I need to go on?  You’ve all heard about this already, on Autostraddle or CNN or elsewhere.  Go Gaga.  Senate Repubs, go away.

Easy A. I meant to write about this last weekend, actually, but forgot; I saw it with Mom the day after it came out, and then again last night with the Professor and the (visiting) Filmmaker.  Because the Filmmaker went to film school — hence the title — and has a tendency to nitpick apart movies I like based on technical issues alone, going to the movies with her has become a little nervewracking — she can get judgey if you opinion clashes with hers.  And I realize that I do the same thing in respect to others’ reading selections, but, you know, it’s not like she goes to reading parties with me.  Anyway!  She, along with me and the Professor, found Easy A to be smart, funny and providing a fairly fresh perspective (of common sense) in media regarding female sexuality.  So go see it if you haven’t, is I guess what I’m saying.

Rachel got a haircut and I hear she likes it? PHOTOS PHOTOS PHOTOS
(For those of you who don’t know Rachel in real life, she hasn’t cut her hair — much — in like forever.  I’ve known her four years and she’s never changed her hair, aside from where she used to part it, maybe.  This is a big deal.  Also, I like haircuts.  I get overly invested in the idea of hairstyling, I think, much as I do with dressing up in costume.)

Beth Ditto designed a second collection for Evans! I want that floral dress.  As a rule, I generally am not attracted to floral patterns on fabric, but damn, is it nice-looking.  Boy howdy, would it fall into my recent plan to class up my work attire.  When did she design her first collection for Evans?  And why was I not aware of it??

Crushed red pepper. Recently, I have been debating the value of adding crushed red pepper to every single thing I eat.  Good idea?  Bad idea?  Good idea, amirite?

Eating homemade bread. Making it, not so much.  It turns out that I didn’t know the difference between Fahrenheit and Celsius well enough to produce bread with active, living yeast.  Now I have two and a half loaves of what the Professor has dubbed lembas bread.  It tastes fine, but has the heaviness/chewiness of dough and if you were to throw it at someone’s head, you would definitely kill them.

Autostraddle has an article about Judith Butler! The gender studies dilettante in me got pretty stoked when I stumbled across this a few days ago.  Judith Butler, you guys!  Awesome and so freaking hard to read!  I need this explication like I need a hug, which is always.  (But okay, let’s be real.  I don’t need hugs so much as I just want them, all the time.)

Satellite radio. The Professor’s car is in the shop, so she’s had to drive around a schmancy rental for the week, which has Sirius and is approximately the size of a yacht.  I’m going to miss it when she goes back to the Kia and we can’t ride around in style, listening to songs about yellow baskets on the “40s on 4” station.  Today we ate breakfast at a diner and then went for a Sunday drive, playing music that belongs at a WWII-era Sadie Hawkins dance.  What could possibly accompany such a drive once the luxury of satellite radio is taken away?  Knowing the Professor, obscure hair metal.

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Things Rachel Fucking Hates

This is a photo of Russel Brand and Katy Perry in India. It is the epitome of everything I hate about the world we live in in one picture. SHE IS WEARING A STRAPLESS ROMPER.


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wide open future

tomorrow i am getting a haircut. i am not sure what it will be, because i am being a “hair model” for a salon and so i think they get to do whatever they want to me. i feel like i could come out looking like emma watson or like the mom from That 70’s Show. i don’t think this haircut will suck, but if it does, i want you to remember me as i was. these were the good days.


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feelings i felt upon coming home from work and learning about the dadt filibuster

this can be like a special edition of Stuff I Hate if you like.

+ shock

+ the opposite of shock. what is that? resignation?

+ i want to put my sweatpants on.

+ john mccain looks like a dillhole. i don’t even know what that is.

+ i’m glad i didn’t have to write a post about this.

+ why is gimp so hard for me to understand.

+ sarah thinks katie miller is hot but i do not.

+ i had forgotten this was happening today

+ because i wasn’t even really aware this was happening today

+ i should care about this more than i do

+ a bathrobe worn over sweatpants and a bra is an outfit

+ what is the military

+ i wish judge walker was in charge of it

next time: feelings on jonathan franzen! i know, internet, you fucking eat that shit up.


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Stuff Heather AND Rachel Think Is Super Great

Data Mining Competitions – UC San Diego is hosting a data mining competion, and it is crazy close right now. We have over $2,000 riding on Team Baseball.

Graphical Models That Change Their Topologies – Who cares if it is an unpopular research area, it’s gosh darn fascinating.

Categorical Programming with Abstract Data Types – Pretty self-explanatory.

Staying Logged In Thanks, guys!


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Stuff Heather Thinks is Super Great

Everything Gaga wore to the VMAs. I didn’t watch the full VMAs, but caught part of it after Mad Men, and last Sunday was definitely a time I was glad Lady Gaga was in the world.  As I am all the time.  Look how fabulous that woman is.


The thought of assembling a raw meat dress (and shoes! look at her shoes!) makes me squick all over.  However!  I am so, so glad that Gaga’s around to step up.

Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri. Am I a cliché?  A pretentious English major advertising her appreciation of Jhumpa Lahiri, oh my God, what a shocker.  And yet.  She really is excellent!  I read Interpreter‘s opening story (“A Temporary Matter”) for class a few years ago and wasn’t exactly mad with joy, but the full collection — now I’ve read it — is as good as everyone says it is.

Love, etc., Julian Barnes. Recently I have been tackling Contemporary Classic Authors.  J.M. Coetzee last week (whose Disgrace is shocking and coldhearted and surprisingly moving, ask Emma), now Barnes and Lahiri this week.  Love, etc. is written in a series of vignettes in first person from a variety of narrators, all of whom bring a sense of eccentricity and conflict to the story.  Barnes’s style is pretty captivating and  invested me in the characters — so when a twist arose, I was genuinely shocked and upset.  (Much to a similar effect, albeit by a different method, as I was in Coetzee’s novel.)  I guess these guys are Contemporary Classics for a reason?

Guster has a new album coming out soon! Their new release “Do You Love Me” is constantly on the radio when I’m driving, and I love love love it.  I do love you, Guster.

Also, Otis Redding is so great, you guys, I don’t even know what else to say. Welcome to my Grooveshark.

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