Fun things from Dolly Mixx.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
To learn how to create this look without false nails view this tutorial from Cupcake's Clothes.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I just learned that Chick-fil-A has an annual Daddy Daughter Date Night. Technically the event is not a purity ball but it screams icky-ness just the same.
At the event fathers and daughters will be met at the restaurants with decorations and activities. Each restaurant has their own way of celebrating. Some restaurants will offer a red carpet, dancing, music, photographs, limo rides and a trayliner with questions and conversation topics. At some events dad and daughter will take home a booklet called “Continuing the Conversation” which provides ideas for future dates and conversation topics. The event has a romantic factor that is entirely inappropriate.
What we have here is paternalism. It is a concept which states a woman or girl needs a man to take care of her. The male figure can be a father, husband, brother or other male relative. It's a form of control and ownership that is perpetuated by fundamental Christianity. This branch of Christianity does not believe boys and young men are in need of such supervision.
The message here is that a girl's sexuality should be overseen by her father. As mentioned earlier this event is very reminiscent of a purity ball. Purity balls are like proms in which an child or teen makes a promise to her father that she will remain a virgin until she weds.
The event is one in which daughters are meant to idolize their fathers in a way that is unhealthy. There is a romantic tie here that seems very incestuous. I assume that fathers who are in favor of this event do not actually view their daughters in a romantic or sexual light. Even so, this event creates a mental space where young women will link their romantic endevours with their fathers. By this I mean that women are likely to forget that romance and sexuality is about their own journey and will feel that they need their father's approval to feel whatever they are feeling.
I've just discovered a "holiday" referred to as World Femininity Day. The very name made me frown when I read it online.
The event took place yesterday on June 24th. According to the website it is celebrated in at least 12 countries.
The WFD website describes their mission this way.
"To acknowledge and celebrate femininity by women, for women, for humanity. We believe it is vitally important as women to be encouraged to feel powerful through our femininity as opposed to matching or competing with masculine ways of being to achieve power in our lives whether that be socially, in relationships, family or career.
We believe that the more women feel connected to and inspired by their femininity in all cultures across the world the harder it will be to exploit women. We are standing for a world where it is safe to be feminine."
The website says that men and children are allowed to partake in the celebration and they are asking everyone to wear a flower in their hair as a symbol of femininity.
The organizer, Zoe Charles, says that "women shouldn't be afraid to express being feminine for fear it will be deemed weak or anti-feminist." I very much agree, however, I take issue with the fact that the notion of femininity is often stereotyped. The idea of what constitutes masculinity is also stereotyped and the characteristics of gender are often pitted against each other. Opposites. Distinct and persistent opposites.
Anyone who has raised males, dated males, or have engaged in platonic male friendships probably knows that that society has its influences.
The website tells us that, "We believe the ownership and celebration of femininity by women, for women for humanity will eventually eliminate exploitation of women and children across the world."
When I read this I sat back in my chair with my hand over my mouth and just stared at the screen reading that line over and over again. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. These words were actually staring right back at me.
Word Femininity Day Trailer - Founder Zoe Charles Speaks
Our patriarchal cultures encourages female and male stereotypes. Part of patriarchy's power is that it also influences women to embrace sexism. It can be so embedded that women may not even realize that they are perpetuating it.
According to World Femininity Day, it seems that I have to follow certain rules in order to be considered feminine. Zoe Charles embraces mainstream femininity which I consider to be a very narrow and conservattive view. It is unfortunate that such a narrow view is actually so common and anything else is often considered to be un-feminine.
The idea that femininity has to be a certain way is not limited to straight culture (heterosexist culture). In the gay community there are women who are considered "butch" and women who are considered "femme". These two are examples of stereotypes.
According to the website, World Femininity Day "is an opportunity to transform ourselves and the world through owning and relishing in being powerful through our femininity as opposed to using masculine ways of being to portray power. It is a discovery, an acknowledgment and a celebration of all it is to feel truly feminine however that looks to the individual."
What are "masculine ways of being?" Again, I must assume the site is speaking to stereotypical versions of masculinity. I will say that due to sexism it can be difficult for women to exist beside men. For example, a woman who works beside or above another male might feel pressured to present herself in such a way that would garner respect from male co-workers. This might include mimicking stereotypes of other men.
I think the answer is not to embrace stereotypes of femininity but to embrace whoever you are. It appears that the website believes that femininity is more about appearance than anything else.
I stopped wearing make up in 2000. Does this make me less feminine? When I wore makeup prior, was I feminine then? When I wear a dress am I feminine? When I wear pants am I not? I think World Femininity Day does more harm than good. I think it perpetuates the myth that women have to look a certain way in order to feel a certain way.
I dealt with that concept in jr. high and part of high school. I got over it (although I don't think we ever get rid of it fully) and began exploring my own style and my own way of presenting myself. Carrying on the thought that feminity has to be specific is harmful to adults and children alike.
World Femininty Day just sounds like a waste of time and I can't help but wonder if it serves the purpose of assisting women who feel poorly about themselves and need encouragement. Why else would women need a forum in which to celebrate themselves in this particular way?
I think that there are other ways of accepting who we are. We all feel insecure at times and we often want to change ourselves. I think that the process of self acceptance is on going and is a longer process than giving in to stereotypes. I think it's worth the journey.
Friday, June 24, 2011
(wedding topper by put it out there)
Governor Cuomo signed a bill which will place New York as the 6th state to adopt gay marriage. The signing took place on this day and the law will take effect on July 24, 2011.
Cuomo told reporters "We reached a new level of social justice." Outside the Senate chamber, many opponents sat on the floor and prayed aloud.
The vote was 33 t0 29 and the Senate consists of 62 Republican members. The decisive votes were cast by veteran Sen. Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie and Marc Grisanti from Buffalo. Both gentleman belong to the Republican side.
Last night at a fundraiser with members of New York City's gay community President Barack Obama encouraged lawmakers to support gay rights. One of the things that greatly bothered me when Obama came into office was his opposing stance on gay marriage. He stated that although he was open to civil unions he maintained his that he believes marriage is between a man and woman. Last Obama night informed America that his views on gay marriage are still evolving and changing.
Per the Los Angeles Times, the New York State Catholic Conference made a statement on their website which read, "We always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love. But we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman."
Even so, the events tonight are considered a victory. I think all of us gay rights supporters are hoping that the bill into law will spark other states to follow suit. Hip hip hooray everyone!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Tommy Chong Argues For The Legalization Of Marijuana. I've Never Smoked Pot But I Think It Should Be Legalized
Today on CNN, Tommy Chong (actor most known for the film Cheech and Chong) and former White House drug czar adviser Paul Cabot duked it out over a federal bill that would leave states to legalize marijuana.
I admit that I have never seen the film Cheech and Chong (gasp!) but I think I get the gist. It's not a movie I care to see as I have never found stoner movies to be funny.
I have never smoked pot, not even once, and I have no desire to do so. I understand that no one has died from pot use but many have experienced addiction because of it. Once a person goes beyond using pot as a stress reliever then it becomes an addiction. I think because so many use the "pot is not as dangerous as alcohol" argument (which I believe is often true) some seem to think that there is no such things as excessive use when it comes to pot.
I personally do not smoke pot as I like to be in control of myself, my thoughts and my actions. Also, I have had no real desire to get high. I prefer to utilize coping skills, self expression, spirituality, friends and even therapy to assist me with life's stressors. I think that drug use is a quick fix and it can be easy to become dependent on a quick fix. A quick fix doesn't necessarily equate to pot only. We often utilizes quick fixes to satisfy some need. Food, shopping, etc.
Some have told me that if I were to smoke pot I'd probably like it and then I might think differently. If I were to enjoy pot I think think many of my views surrounding the issue would remain as they are. Pot has a dumbing down effect that I do not find attractive.
I do not judge those who smoke pot and I think there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good. I simply choose to go about it in a different way. Although there are certainly substances that are more harmful that pot, I think that pot has the potential to be harmful just the same.
Ok, that being said...
I believe that marijuana should be legalized. In the CNN interview with Chong, he insists upon the medical benefits of pot use. I agree that it can be helpful however that is not the only reason I am in favor of legalization. Legal consequences for marijuana possession are severe. Depending on the state or country and the amount of pot harbored, consequences can range from high priced fines to imprisonment.
In the below video footage, Chong makes the argument that pot has its uses. As he speaks he sounds very much like the stoned character he portrays in the film Cheech and Chong. He looks like a wreck and it appears that his eyes are red. He says that he has not smoked pot in two months. Regardless as to whether he was sober or not, I couldn't help but laugh out loud at his presentation.
As the interview goes on Chong becomes upset with Paul Cabot and tells him to "Shut up!" I don't think he was helping the cause.
Below addiction specialist, Dr. Drew Pinsky explains on his HLN show that at some point down the road most every day pot users will at some point find that they are not receiving the same high that they had before.
So my bottom line is that pot is not always harmful but it can be. Regardless legalization is key as it equals fairness. Depriving medical necessity is unfair. Absurd legal consequences are unfair.
James Richard Verone is a 59 year old man living in Gastonia N.C. Verone was once a Coca Cola delivery man but he was laid off. He later worked as a truck drive but things didn't work out for him. Up until recently Verone was working at a convenience store.
Per the Gaston Gazette, Verone had difficulty mantaining the job as he was experiencing arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, a limp leg and a protrusion on his chest. Verone also struggled with lifting due to back problems.
Verone had applied for Social Security benefits but was only eligible for food stamps.
Verone had had enough and hatched up a plan. On June 9, he mailed a letter to the Gaston Gazette which stated, "When you receive this a bank robbery will have been committed by me," Verone wrote in the letter. "This robbery is being committed by me for one dollar. I am of sound mind but not so much sound body." Vernone listed his return address as Gaston County Jail.Verone headed out to the RBC Bank and handed the bank teller a letter stating that he was robbing the bank for $1. Verone said, "I told the teller that I would sit over here and wait for police."
Verone was charged with larceny and was sentenced to jail as planned. Verone is beginning to receive medical care. He said he's hoping to receive back and foot surgery, and get the protrusion on his chest treated. Then he plans to spend a few years in jail, receive Social Security and then move to the beach. Not bad ay?
Verone will represent himself in court and plans to threaten to repeat his crime if the sentence he receives is not severe enough.
Verone reported that if the United States had an adequate health care system he would not have had to take such measures.
I applaud James Richard Verone. He worked the system. I think most of us agree that healthcare is in crisis. Verone was obviously desparate and needed to find a solution. Can we all agree that it is tragic that those in jail often receive better treatment than those on the outside? I am not suggesting that inmates should not receive adequate treatment. I just think policy makers should share the wealth.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
They are beginning their 2011 tour and will land in Los Angeles on June 26 at The Hollywood Bowl.
2011 "Yeah Basically Cibo Matto" Tour Teaser
A new album is soon to follow!
Below is my favorite Cibo Matto song.
Birthday Cake - Cibo Matto
Welcome back ladies!
To learn more about Cibo Matto visit their website here.
Or is it oh so wonderful?
There is too much good stuff out there!
So, let me start by saying that I don't like purses. I don't like carrying them around. Sometimes I wish I could simplify and just carry around a wallet like so many men. Being that I can't carry a wallet when I wear dresses or skirts and being that I actually find it helpful to carry a few more items around than a wallet, keys and cell phone, I give in an use purses.
I own a couple of Hello Kitty purses and they are small in size. This is what I prefer. For some time now, some of my female friends have tried to convert me to the world of big bags. I have tried to avoid this but then I saw the above Hello Kitty bag and I had no choice but to throw up my hands and give in.
I'm usually a person who sticks to the color black when it comes to purses. In general I am choosy when it comes to the use of color in my wardrobe. As I age I seem to be broadening my choices a bit. Purple at the moment is my color of choice.
So, after I had purchased the first purse I saw this version available for bid. The first purse had the option of purchasing it right away. Although the purses are similar there are differences that appealed to me. I like the smaller size, I like that the kitty has a pinkish red bow and that the larger bag has a silver bow. I put in a bid and bought it for a very low price.
Can't wait until these arrive in the mail!
Hello Kitty Tea Cup Digital Clock
Sold at Target
I'm thrilled. Tea is one of my obsessions and so is Hello Kitty. Great combination.
Hello Kitty Cupcake Coffee Mug
Sold at Amazon
I love and collect mugs and teacups. What a great find. I love how Sanrio continues to combine my great loves.
Hello Kitty Cupcake Digital Clock
Sold at Amazon
And yet another obsession. Cupcakes. I'm sad to say that this Hello Kitty cupcake digital clock is out of stock at Amazon.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
The Miller, His Son, and Their Ass by Aesop
A Miller and his son were driving their Ass to a neighboring fair
to sell him. They had not gone far when they met with a troop of
women collected round a well, talking and laughing.
"Look there," cried one of them, "did you ever see such fellows, to be trudging along the road on foot when they might ride?"
The old man hearing this, quickly made his son mount the Ass, and continued to walk along merrily by his side. Presently they came up to a group of old men in earnest debate.
"There," said one of them, "it proves what I was a-saying. What respect is shown to old age in these days? Do you see that idle lad riding while his old father has to walk? Get down, you young scapegrace, and let the old man rest his weary limbs."
Upon this the old man made his son dismount, and got up himself. In this manner they had not proceeded far when they met a company of women and children:
"Why, you lazy old fellow," cried several tongues at once, "how can you ride upon the beast, while that poor little lad there can hardly keep pace by the side of you?"
The good-natured Miller immediately took up his son behind him. They had now almost reached the town. "
Pray, honest friend," said a citizen, "is that Ass your own?" "Yes," replied the old man. "O, one would not have thought so," said the other, "by the way you load him. Why, you two fellows are better able to carry the poor beast than he you." "Anything to please you," said the old man; "we can but try." So, alighting with his son, they tied the legs of the Ass together and with the help of a pole endeavored to carry him on their shoulders over a bridge near the entrance to the town.
This entertaining sight brought the people in crowds to laugh at it, till the Ass, not liking the noise nor the strange handling that he was subject to, broke the cords that bound him and, tumbling off the pole, fell into the river. Upon this, the old man, vexed and ashamed, made the best of his way home again,convinced that by endeavoring to please everybody he had pleased nobody, and lost his Ass in the bargain.
God is Not a White Man by Gungor
I can say I enjoyed this song and the visuals helped. Although I consider myself to be a Christian I can say that I have never really enjoyed contemporary Christian music. Most likely I have not been exposed to enough of it to know what I might like but historically I have found it to be pretty empty and repetative. "We exault thee on high, oh lord", yadda yadda. Ok, I get it, I get it, you dig Jesus.
I had never heard of Gungor until today. Michael Gungor and his band are a Christian band I suppose. I'm not sure how they label themselves or if they label themselves at all. I listened to a few tracks and they have a folky-pop feel. They are also reminiscent of music from the "emo" era. Not what many consider to be the original emo era when hardcore came out of Washington D.C. in the 80s and not by today's standards either. Today it seems that emo is more, about clothes than anything else. Dark clothes but in skinny jeans.
Man, labels and comparisons. I can't seem to get away from them. As long as I'm running with it, here are some more. I'd say that their sound is reminicent of the "emo" that was once linked to band such as Dashboard Confessional and The Get Up Kids. Ok, so there you have it. My winding comparison.
There is something about the video that struck me. When Gungor sings that God is good, a wave of change occurs to the characters within the video. A child who resists eating the veggies on their plate is delighted when candy magically appears. A man who's sailing ship goes down is happy once again when a whale saves him from the depths. Yes, God is good but he doesn't save us as though he were a superhero. He doesn't turn vegetables into candy.
Also, the video is plagued with stereotypes. The song tells us that God loves everyone including terrorists, lesbians, communists and the list goes on. During this piece there are stereotypical images of terrorists, lesbians, communists an so forth. I do understand that stereotypes are based on what is often common however I think the point of an all loving God could have been made without insisting that lesbians appear to be butch and that communists appear to be Asian.
I won't be purchasing a Gungor album but I will be sharing this video with others. Great artwork and a good message.
To learn more about Gungor visit their website here.
The term Hollywood Style Swing was coined by Erik Robison and Sylvia Skyler otherwise known as Erick and Sylvia in the dancing community. The two are a married couple who teach Hollywood Style lindy hop.
Mostly in the 1990s, "The Style Wars" went on for some time. Many individuals became heavily heated over whether one style ran supreme over another. Some dancers would watch others on the dance floor to make certain that they were dancing Hollywood Style. If the other party was not an invitation to dance would never take place.
Admittedly when I began dancing in 1997 I too would pop the question, "What style are you?" Eventually I learned to relax. Although I prefer Hollywood Style I will never turn down a dance. If you see me dancing, I'm smiling.
Below is a flier which was handed out at some workshops and events in 2000. The point of the flier was to set aside some of the debate about styles of swing and to focus on dancing.
Below is the orignal flier and underneath that is the script in a font that is legible.
Hollywood Style Swing refers to an extremely smooth, piked* and slotted* style of Lindy Hop that was familiarized in Los Angeles during the 1930s and the 1940s. This style of dancing utilizes counter-balance and adheres strictly to the partnered aspect of Lindy verses each person holding their own weight and dancing as individuals. It is referred to as "Hollywood Style" not because of it's area of origin, but because of where it was made popular. Hollywood, referring strictly to the entertainment industry, made this sooth style of dancing popular by showcasing dancers in numerous movies and shorts. One of these dancers was Dean Collins. Dean was known for making anything he did look smooth and controlled, including aerials and slip-outs. Dean came from New York to Los Angeles in 1937 and having already won 3rd and 4th place at the Harvest Moon Ball and voted 1936 Best Dancer of the Year by N.Y. Magazine, brought him all he had learned about dancing from The Savoy Ballroom. One might say that Dean was on of the orginal "Savoy" dancers. Dean was in more movies than any other swing dancer between 1930 and 1945 and for this reason. Many people refer to smooth style as "Dean Collins Style." However, there were hundreds of wonderful dancers across the country who each had their own individual smooth style and were themselves featured in many movies. A few of these dancers are Lenny and Kaye Smith, Jewel McGowan, Lou Southern, Hal and Betty Taker, Maxi Dorff and Midge Dare, Jean Phelps-Veloz, Irene Thomas and Arthur Walsh.
The most common style of dancing found in The United States today was re-popularized by Frankie Manning in the 1980s. This style is characterized by a particular Lindy pattern and the dancers positioned so that their upper bodies are closer together than their feet. Most people consider this style "Savoy Style", but actually it is "Frankie Manning Style". There were hundreds of different dance styles at The Savoy. Frankie was a member of a wonderful performance troupe called "Whitey's Lindy Hoppers" whose most famous performance is from a movie called "Hellzapoppin'", 1941. Coincidentally Dean Collins is also featured in this film doing the Lindy with Martha Rae. Whitey's Lindy Hoppers are known for their high enegry, fast dancing, and awesome aerials. Frankie's style of dancing is unique, even in comparison to the other members of the troupe. Despite contemporary myth, most dancers across the country (blacks and whites) in the late 1930s and the 1940s danced a smooth, piked and slotted style of Lindy Hop. Al Minns and Leon James were two of the original members of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers who were featured in the movie, "Day at the Races", 1938. These two men were excellent social dancers as well as great performers. They are known for dancing smooth, piked and on a slot.
The most important thing to remember is that there are as many styles of swing dancing as their are swing dancers. There is no true definition of "Savoy" style swing, there is no "Black" style or "White" style. There was certainly no East Coast Swing or West Coast Swing in the 30s and 40s. It was and is all Lindy. When asked the question, "Why style did they dance at The Savoy?", even Frankie Manning answered that it depended on which Saturday Night you were talking about!
*Pike - The literal definition is a pointed projection or sharp tip, e.g. the head of an arrow. Dancers used this word to describe a style of dancing in which the partners feet in open position are closer together than their upper bodies, giving the illusion of a "V".
* Slotted - The literal definition is to provide with openings. Dancers used this term to describe a style of dance in which the partners danced "through" each other down a single line versus dancing around each other in a circular pattern. There are conflicting reasons as to how and why slot dancing began. Some say that slot dancing began in the late thirties because as the ballrooms and dance halls became more crowded, the dancers had to adjust their style to accomodate to the tight space on the dance floor. Another common theory is that when swing dancing began to be featured in films it was much more appealing to the audience to see both of the dancers open to the same line opposed to having either of their backs to the camera.
Is she pretty or is she pretty?
Here are some of her lovely creations!
Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes
(She describes them as Dr. Seuss-esque. I have to agree)
Divalicious Red Velvet Cupcake
Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Out of This World Milky Way Cupcake
California Inspired Cupcakes
The best damn Christmas cupcakes you ever will see! I dare you to top these. I dare you!
Black Wedding Cupcake
I'm in love with this one. A completely black cupcake with a black cupcake wrapper. Why have I never seen a black cupcake before? It's actually such a simple idea. Perhaps a black cupcake isn't cheery enough for what people think cupcakes are supposed to be?
Cupcake Kaleidoscopes aka Cupcakes in a Jar
To visit Amanda Cupcake's blogsite click here.
To visit her Etsy page click here.
To visit her Facebook page click here.
This S'more Sparklette Cupcake is from the oh so talented Amanda Cupcake. To get the recipe to this creation visit her blogsite here. See how there is glitter in the cupcake! Oh Ms. Cupcake how did you know I drool for glitter?
Here she turned the same recipe into a Cupcake Pop Cone with a Marshmallow on top! Is she genius or what?
To visit her etsy site click here.