Saturday, February 26, 2011

Once More Into the...

I'm not one for doing multiple post on the same subject but I just keep finding new opinions about Puck singing Fat Bottomed Girls to Lauren. My initial reaction to it can be found here.

I'm inclined to cut Puck some slack. He's obviously smitten:

It's not like he's playing with Lauren's feelings for kicks or a bet. He, probably for reasons he doesn't understand, is into her. When it comes right down to it, Puck is not the brightest crayon in the box. Take this exchange:
Puck: "What is this place?"
Lauren: "It's the library."
Cute but not too bright. Just the way I.... Never mind! I think he honestly felt that song said what he wanted to say to Lauren. He wants her to know that she rocks his world. He doesn't understand how she could be offended. When you think about it, Fat Bottomed Girls was an obvious choice. Puck is a rocker. He's not going to sing Billy Joel or Bruno Mars. He's unable to fake twee enough to sing Big Girls (You Are Beautiful) by Mika.

There are worse songs. Brand New Car by The Rolling Stones and Little Red Corvette by Prince jump immediately to mind. If you thought those songs were about automobiles you have been asleep at the wheel baby! There are a lot more out there. Fat Bottomed Girls is a relatively harmless song.

I hope Lauren realizes that Puck didn't mean to hurt her. He was just being his cute, oblivious self. I know nothing about Lauren or her background. The toughness is probably a facade she's worn for years. Watching the video of Puck's performance I don't see anger in Lauren's face. Bemused or  incredulous but not angry . Maybe she's just too good at hiding her feelings. We'll have to see as the story develops.

I hope she and all the rest of those offended cut the poor boy a little slack.

Read my other Glee related posts here

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Robin Hood Tax

I think this is a fabulous idea. Don't get me started on the idea that throwing more money at the problem isn't going to work. Let's get the money and then work at making how and by who the money is spent better. I know that's a gross simplification of the problem of "aid". I have read books/papers on this subject (Thanks a lot Bono!) so I know a little bit about all the major arguments for and against foreign aid.

If the banks fight a 0.05% tax on financial transactions they'll just be proving that they don't care about anything but themselves (some people still need to be convinced). Check out the website and sign the petition to tell politicians you support the Robin Hood Tax.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Lot of Tempest in a Pot of Tea?

After I posted about my first kiss yesterday, I started reading a bunch of different articles about Puck singing "Fat Bottomed Girls" to Lauren. Some people (including Lauren) were offended by it. I don't get it. It's a fun song. If you skip over the implied child abuse in the first verse (!) it's a rockin' little number in praise of big women.

Which, I suppose, is the problem for some people.

If you haven't figured it out from reading this blog, I am and have always been a "fat bottomed girl" and a Freddie Mercury/Queen fan. I would not have been insulted or embarrassed by having that song sung to me. I probably would have gotten up and danced. I have no problem getting out on the floor and shaking my big groove thing.

It's sad that some big women do.

(edit: they took the video down. You can listen to the audio track on Youtube. A really bad copy of the video is here. If you live in the US you can see the hulu quality version here.)

I've got to say that Mark Salling did an excellent job on the song. I don't usually like anyone but Freddie singing that song so props to Mr. Salling.

Since I started writing this post I thought of another song that Puck could have sung: Big Girls Are Best by U2 I don't think there's anything for anyone to argue over there. If they're going to have him sing to her again they might consider Hallelujah Here She Comes by U2. I doubt that anyone, including Lauren, would be offended by in that song. It's one of my favorite U2 songs and I'd love to have someone sing it to me.

Now if you don't mind, I'm going to click "Play" on the video 'cause I'm feeling the urge to dance.

Read my other Glee related posts here

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Memory is a Strange Thing

Unlike a lot of people, I haven't been watching Glee. High school with singing? ::shudder:: The other day I found a video on YouTube of a performance from the show. I'll admit I liked it. Still it didn't make me want to watch. Until last night. I was bored. I decided to watch a few episodes online. I was in for a surprise.

Most of you fans will recognize Noah "Puck" Puckerman who is played by Mark Salling. The first time he showed up on my monitor I had a very... um... intense reaction. I blamed it on wonky hormones. The guy is eighteen years younger than me. I usually go for older men (Patrick Stewart, David McCallum etc.) so my interest in Puck was an anomaly that I couldn't explain.

Until approximately 3 AM. I don't know what I was dreaming about but it triggered a memory. I  woke up and suddenly understood my reaction to Puck. He looks a lot like the first boy I ever kissed. I'll call him Brian. I was in grade eight and he was in grade seven. Did I mention that I hate being the older woman?

And I didn't actually kiss him. He pushed up against the school wall and kissed me. Then he walked away. I was left standing there really confused. I had no idea why he would do such a thing. It wasn't for a bet or dare because there was no one else in the school yard and therefore no proof. I have no idea how I ended up in the schoolyard alone with Brian. I remember walking home in a daze.

Brian never tried to kiss me again. I don't remember him even talking to me again. Now that I look back on it, I can guess that he was waiting for me to make the next move. Unfortunately for him I was already screwed up sexually. By the time Brian and I met I had been sexually molested and survived an attempted rape. It would be many years before I willingly kissed anyone.

I've been thinking of Brian all day. I even Googled him. He got married and has a bunch of kids. I guess some other girl knew what to do when he pushed her up against the wall. Or else he got a better MO.

I hope this little trip down memory lane ends soon. I don't want to have raging hormones every time I watch an episode of Glee. It might be better if I avoided the show but, damn it, I'm hooked.

Read my other Glee related posts here

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Head Hurts

Most of you have seen or heard about what happened to reporter Serene Branson* live on air after the Grammys. People thought she'd had a stroke but it turned out to be a migraine. While most people have been kind an supportive, some people out there make me ashamed to be human. I'm not going to repeat the things I've read. I just hope that someday when those morons have a medical emergency the people around them treat them as they've treated this woman.

I've got to admit that I feel for Ms. Branson. I have suffered from migraine with aura since I was 13. Until you've suffered one you can't know what it is like. You can't know how embarrassing it is to have to ask a complete stranger to open your medication because you are shaking so much you can't open the child proof cap. I've had people turn away from me. I've seen the look in people's eyes. You know the one. The look that people give junkies who are begging on the corner.

I've actually blacked out at a Safeway check stand. No one called 911. They just wanted me off their property. I was literally given the "bum's rush" to the door. Once I was in the food court of a mall when an attack began. I had just gotten a drink and was looking for somewhere to sit when my hand went numb and I dropped the drink. I stood there looking at it for a while because I could not understand what had happened. I don't know how long I stood there with people pushing all around me. 

Until you've had a migraine with aura there's no way to explain how much it hurts or how embarrassing it is when it happens in public. Watch the video below to get a little taste of what I go though some times as often as twice a week.

Annoying wasn't it. Now imagine having two or three of those things at the same time. And make them flash. This is why I do not drive. Could you imagine being on the road when something like that starts? 

I hope you never experience it. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

*If you haven't seen the actual footage you can watch it here.

Image: Melvin Marshmellow by Migraine Chick Creative Commons Atribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Sweet Smell of... Chemicals?

I got an interesting email today from David Suzuki:

Secret ingredients in bath products stink

parfume-grphc2Valentine's Day means that love is in the air - and so is whatever makes your armpits smell "powder fresh".  

We're talking about parfum in your cosmetic products. You want to smell good, but just like love, it's what's on the inside that counts - especially if there's nothing but toxic weird stuff buried deep down inside.

The smelly stuff in your body products is listed as fragrance or parfum. What companies don't have to tell you is that fragrance contains dozens of toxic chemicals. It's considered a trade secret. These hidden chemicals make your bodywash smell like "extreme aqua sport", but they can also cause bad things - allergic and asthmatic reactions, migraines and more - and that's not sporty at all.

We need an honest relationship with our cosmetics.

Tell our health minister that you want to know the secret ingredients in fragranced body products. It's up to Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq to make decisions that protect our health.

Ask Leona Aglukkaq to get the skeletons out of the closet and require cosmetic companies to tell it to us straight - what chemicals are in our body products? 

Open communication is always a recipe for a good relationship. Send a message now.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

If The Doctor Knocked on Your Door...

If The Doctor knocked on your door and said, "Fancy a trip?" would you go with him?

If it was Doctor #10 (David Tennant) I'd say yes in a heartbeat. I'd probably go with any of the others but I like #10 best.

David Tennant was my first Doctor. Before him, the only things I knew about Dr. Who came from Eddie Izzard. Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter have seen this before so if you want to skip the video I won't mind. ;-D

So yeah, me and Doctor #10 would be gone before you could say, "I've been captured." Oh, the places I'd go. Dr. Seuss never had The Doctor's Tardis in mind. The first place (time) I'd like to go is Earth* in the year 2111. I want to see if humans are still around or if the planet succeeded in getting rid of them. I'm thinking the chances are 50/50.

After that I'd like to hop around in ancient Egypt for a while. I have a lot of questions. The first stop would be c.1330 BCE to see how Nefertiti died. Then it would be c.1479 BCE to watch Hatshepsut become pharaoh. Then I'd jump 22 years to the end of her reign to see how she and her lover Senenmut died. After that it's off to August 1, 30 BCE to watch the last 12 days of Cleopatra's reign. I'd also like to know where all these people were buried. Next it would be back to Nefertiti's time to see what life was like in Akhetaten. I'd also like to see the birth of Tutankhaten (later Tutankhamun) to find out once and for all who his parents were.

Then I'd see how the pyramids were built and bop around to a few other points in Egyptian history. I'd end my trip with a visit to the 6th century AD to watch as the Temple of Isis at Philae is finally closed forever by Justinian.**

With all my major Egyptian questions answered I'd be ready to see some other worlds. I have more historical questions but I'd leave them in the "if there's time" category.

So what about you? Would you go with The Doctor? Where would you go?

Since I don't know what's out there to see, I'd have to let The Doctor decide where and when to go off-world.

**After the closing of Philae, the only remaining Temple of Isis was in London.

Photo credit: A temple on an island of Philae, near AswanEgypt as seen from the water of the surrounding lak by Przemyslaw "Blueshade" Idzkiewicz. October 2004.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Heart Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson is an expert in creativity. I think that sounds like a great job. Wandering around being creative. Unfortunately there seems to be more to it. A lot of reading. A lot of talking- sometimes to people who don't want to listen.They're just there because their boss made them - and not a lot of doing. 

Luckily Sir Ken is very interesting and funny. Don't take my word for it. Check out his two TED Talks:

Sir Ken has written some books. I'm reading The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. It's very interesting. It's full of stories of people who have found their "element". I think the element is the place where your passion and your ability meet. People have all kinds abilities but using them doesn't alway bring happiness. 

You could be good with numbers so you become an account but you hate it.  One day you're walking home from work and you find a saxophone on the sidewalk with a sign that says "free". You take take it home and look at it for awhile. Maybe a few days later you Google saxophone teachers in your neighborhood. You wait another few days and then you call one. The next week you show up for your lesson and everything clicks. You have a natural talent. Playing makes you happy. Your teacher can't keep up with you. 

Now you have a decision. Do you quit your day job to pursue life as a musician?  Do you keep playing as a hobby? You're in your element when you are playing your sax. You hate your job even though you are good at it.

What WOULD you do? 

I'd pursue the music. I'd go to a school to get formal musical training. I'd probably have to do some freelance accounting or get some kind of a job that isn't too consuming mentally or physically. I'd rather be happy than rich. Well... truth be told I'd rather be happy AND rich.

Huh. I just read my little story and if I made the saxophone a magic one, one that talks, and had the student fall in love with the teacher, I'd have the basics of a TV movie. Hmmm.

What are you doing when you're in your element?

Monday, February 7, 2011

eco-max Hypoallergenic Laundry Wash

I don't talk about products a lot on this blog. When I find something I like or a product that may be harmful or doesn't work like it's supposed to I'll write about it. I found  eco-max Hypoallergenic Laundry Wash (HLW) at my local indie market.

I have allergies and very sensitive skin. Most detergents on the market cause a reaction of some kind. I usually stick to ABC or washing soda. When I can't find either I'm really stuck.

HLW has only six ingredients most of which are "food grade" or natural like water. There is no color. There is no scent. It's biodegradable and comes in a 3x concentrated formula that reduces packaging.

I know I sound as if I could be their official spokesperson, but I really like this product. I'm really happy that HLW has no scent to cause an instant migraine. I can't tell you how happy I am to be able to put on freshly laundered clothes and not itch. I only hope eco-max comes out with a dryer sheet some day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gung Hay Fat Choy Y'all - Year of the Rabbit

Chinese New Year parade 2010
It happens every year. I look at the calendar and see that it's Lunar New Year which means that I've missed Gung Haggis Fat Choi  AGAIN! Every year it gets bigger and sounds more fabulous. For those of you who missed my whining last year and don't know what Gung Haggis Fat Choi is it is a multicultural festival celebrating Lunar New Year and Robbie Burns Day. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. This year there were multiple events in various locations, including Seattle.

It's really sad that I keep missing GHFC. I'm part Scottish and I love Chinese food. In fact, I have a huge hard cover cookbook of every type of Chinese food you can imagine. I've never used it because it is a huge, hard cover book and my kitchen is the size of a postage stamp. If I put the book on the counter I wouldn't have room to work. SIGH.

A few days ago I was at T & T Suppermarket. I love going to this place because a) they have great sushi and b) there are so many things on the shelves I've never seen before. Each trip I notice something new. Every product has some form of Asian language on it. Most have English translations but not always. I've never gone there with an Asian person. Maybe someday I should find a guide.

The store was all decked out for Chinese New Year. I've never seen that much red in once place before. I really hate the color red but it all seemed to work at T & T. At the checkout I was behind a couple whose cart was a riot of color with all sorts of things that I didn't recognize. I knew the tofu but that was it. The woman noticed me as she and her husband were pulling things out of their cart. In an apologetic voice she said, "It's for Chinese New Year." The tone in her voice confused me. Was she apologizing for how many items they had? Or was she apologizing for celebrating a non-Western holiday?

"It looks like a party," I replied mostly because I had no idea what else to say. Yes, okay I was looking. But it was curiosity. I don't think I'd be shopping at an Asian market if I had a problem with Asian culture. I would have loved to ask them what each of the things in their cart was.

A few minutes later she saw that I was still watching. I mean, honestly, what else is there to do in the checkout line but look at what is in other people's carts? Especially when the magazines and junk food around the checkout are in a language you don't read. There was no one behind me and the next checkout was closed. They were the only game in town.

Anyway, the woman pulled out what I think were these two huge, very colorful posters. Again, lots of red but really eye catching. She showed them to me and said (again in an apologetic voice) that a friend of hers in Italy wanted something with lucky numbers on it. She seemed to be saying she would never have been caught dead with them otherwise. I told her they were cheery. Couldn't think of anything else to say.

As they finished loading their bags into a cart I said, "Happy New Year." They both looked at me with surprise and said the same. I started wondering if they were not used to Westerners being friendly. I wouldn't think of not being friendly. Weird.

Sometimes I think I'd like to be fluent in Mandarin or Cantonese. I think it would freak out some people at T & T.