Sunday, September 30, 2012

loveliness

I often think that one of the most gentle and wonderful images, is a man's hand resting upon a woman's hip.

moments of happy

Sometimes I think feeling good, is ultimately, relief.

A Key Through It All






















Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Tumblr

Whatever this is to you, is whatever this is to you.























Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Tumblr

How Do You Know Forever is Forever? PART 3













(source)

Below is PART 3 of How Do You Know Forever is Forever? You can find PART 2, here.

How long a couple waits before they wed varies, but for so many I know, two seems to be the magic number. Two years to decide that a life time of love is possible. I used to think that the younger the couple, the sooner they married. I now see that older couples have their own reasons to race to the altar.

Those who have been married in their younger years may not feel the need to wait so long to declare the relationship they wish to have. Those who are younger might romanticize the idea of marriage so much that they leap like eager gazelles to the nearest church.

Weddings are about romance, love is what came before and what is left after the blessed event.

Weddings like so many other celebratory events can contain trinkets of wisdom and symbolic wonder. I've always been a fan of symbolism as it is a language that is expressed without words. I won't go so far as to suggest that weddings can in no way harbor substance and sincerity.

For some, extensive planning and exhausting expenses are worth the day of tradition. Some are able to escape the tornado whirl of wedding plans and actually focus on the reason for it.

Even so -- amongst all the planning, there are other traditions that are also open for questioning. Bridal showers and bachelorette and bachelor parties, mark the last era of freedom and the new era of enlightened and committed love. 

What escapes so many is that freedom and commitment existed before anyone popped the magic question. Enlightenment comes from understanding that married love is not a special kind of love; a love that is different from unmarried love.

We are all better off if we let go of the patriarchal idea that marriage defines any kind of love. Love doesn't have to wait for a proposal and it isn't suddenly easier to maintain that love when two wake up sleepily and utter, "Morning wife" -- "Morning husband."

There's Something On Your Sleeve


































The Tattoo Page

Oh, blue


































The Tattoo Page

a wise man once said..






















Well, despite the fact that I hate using the word "fuck" when describing sex and the fact that I don't engage in causal sex....this is pretty damn important.

It's true that I don't understand the enthusiasm.


Lordy, this is me.


When You Foolishly Think Everything Else is "Vanilla."


swim swim


epidome of fun


salad


just because I'm bright..













"Les abrutis ne voient le Beau que dans les belles choses."

I wish she was me.






















"Les abrutis ne voient le Beau que dans les belles choses."

Ray Caesar par Bruno Dayan

How Do You Know Forever is Forever? PART 2

The below is PART 2 out of three in this series. Here you can read, How Do You Know Forever is Forever? PART 1.





















(source)

Once upon a time, I believed marriage was important. As children with two parents or children who have witnessed co-parenting; most of us had a vague and distanced concept marriage. We knew that mommy and daddy (or mommy and mommy; daddy and daddy) lived together and had some sort of romantic relation to one another.

In kindergarten there was a boy named Michael, who told me he wanted to marry me. I was so flattered that I followed him around giddily asking for reassurance. "Do you still want to marry me?" One day I followed him to "the circle" which was duct tape on a classroom carpet; marking a seating arrangement. I crawled from my place in the circle, next to his and for the last time, smiled wide and asked, "Do you still want to marry me?" To my surprise he snapped at me with exhaustion; "YES!" From that point on, I stopped following him and he stopped chasing me.

It probably wasn't until high school that I drew a clearer picture of marriage. Although it was still fuzzy in my brain, I had a better outline. I entered my first relationship and he and I both harbored the idea that there was no point in entering a relationship if you weren't in it for the long haul. I was pleased to find a like-minded person in the midst of flimsy relationships and casual sex.

At the time I had the idea that I would want to get married in a church. I wanted to wear a white flowy, "fairy dress" while sporting body glitter. I'd go barefoot and wear a silver wedding band, and my husband to be would wear whatever he'd wear on an average day. I am not close with my family members so I had no need for them to be present. I envisioned that my partner would leave family out of the ceremony as well. Friends needn't be involved as the ceremony would be quick and there would be no reception.

When I reached my early 20s, I decided that all I needed was a court room. I didn't need the wedding band; a silver band with the lowercase worker "ever" engraved on the top and I certainly never wanted a blood diamond. I didn't need a pretty dress, I didn't want the pomp and circumstance. I didn't want to walk down the aisle, I didn't want to be the center of attention, and I didn't want to stand before a religious figure whom I had no relationship with or had never met before.

A courthouse wedding would be easier. Sure I'd be standing before a stranger, but it was just procedure. I realized that we as people do not necessarily need to stand before a pastor, priest, rabbi, in order to be married before the eyes of God. Churches are a piece of tradition but the earliest of marriages didn't include them. I didn't need a kiss, I didn't need rice, I didn't need vows. I needed a relationship.

Even further into my 20s, I changed my mind once again. I've never been one to change my mind so much, but in this case I'm glad that I did. I started to question why we held certain traditions. Traditions aren't necessarily a bad thing, but I find it's important to question any tradition.

I came to find that I had no idea what it truly meant to be married before the eyes of God. For those of us who believe in God; we do everything before the eyes of he/she. We pee before God; does that make it sacred?

I found myself resistant to the idea that the government had the ability to define my relationship. This is marriage; this is not. This over here is commitment, that over there is something else.

My fantasies changed. I had warm and pleasant envision of my partner and I waking in bed one morning and smiling at each other. We'd have a brief conversation about how much we loved each other and then one of us would pop the question. We'd kneel on the bed together; face to face and marry each other.
"Will you marry me?"
"Yes."

Done deal.

I liked the idea of marrying without a license because I felt that it was entirely possible to do so. I asked myself a silly question; what if a character from Gilligan's Island wanted to marry another? Would they have to wait for rescue in order for this to happen? A rescue that might never come? I say no.

Even further down the road I sorrowfully concluded that I would have to concede if I wanted to be next-of-kin to my partner. So, my vision changed again. I decided that I still liked the idea of my partner and I marrying each other in bed, and THEN later we'd trot over to the courthouse. We'd marry each other first so as to signify our real relationship and not one that society had built for us. We'd marry legally out of necessity.

When I later learned that in the state of California, I could be granted next-of-kin rights without marriage, I was elated. I've always considered California to be my home, and I don't plan on leaving it.

The next obstacle is finding someone who doesn't mind foregoing holy matrimony. My mother loved telling me how I was essentially cutting out a large population of men. This is true, and it is frightening; but I can't force myself to want something I wholeheartedly do not want do not want.

How Do You Know Forever is Forever? PART 1

(source)

My reasons for not wanting to marry do include my feminist views, (duh) but have more to do with good sense.


There is this myth; that if you are in love and have been together for a certain amount of time, marriage is to follow “naturally”; a natural progression. Marriage is expected in our culture. If you have been with your partner for what others deem to be a long period of time, you are likely to get the question; “So, when are you getting married?” thrown at you from every corner. Marriage does not ensure longevity and it does not “solidify” anything; “I do”, does not equate to a lifetime. 



Whenever, I hear of someone who is engaged to be married I experience two thoughts:

1) I am happy that the two love each other and are going to engage in an act that they feel is celebratory and joyful.

 2) Most relationships end therefore more than likely the marriage will end.  While this may seem dreary or even rude, I can’t help but think that relationships aren’t necessarily meant to last forever. Initially this was a devastating idea to hold as I certainly wish to be in a healthy/enjoyable relationship that lasts until my dying day. Some actually do make it until “death to we part.” But even with the hope and belief that a relationship – married or not -- will last forever; relationships can end after 3 years, 10 years, 36 years, and so on.
 
I’ve noticed that when some couples talk about their future, they discuss whether they want to marry but rarely discuss why they wish to do so. The why seems to be a given, therefore it is not discussed.  When one party decides that they are ready to marry and they sense that the other is ready to marry, they pop the question.  The explanation that seems to seal the deal is, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” or “I want to grow old with you.”

I sometimes question as to whether couples would pursue marriage if it weren’t considered a romantic occasion. If there were no flowers, no white dress, no tuxes, no extravaganza; would marriage be as appealing? I do not understand how a wedding day signifies something that is different from any other day of devotion; nor do I understand why a wedding is described as “the best day” of our lives.

Being that there is this standing myth that marriage is the epitome of love, it is often accompanied with the belief that if a spouse does not wish to marry, they are not truly in love or committed. It has the potential to feel like a slap in the face and can often lead to a break-up; a deal breaker.  

I once had a conversation with a friend who told me that she believes monogamy without a license is not likely to last. Her belief was that marriage would motivate a couple to work things out much more than a relationship that wasn’t “locked down.” She went on to say that the threat of divorce is much more frightening than the threat of losing a boyfriend. 

As sad as this is, I don’t necessarily disagree with her. Avoiding divorce is not only about the fear of losing a loved one; but enduring a legal process that is emotionally and sometimes financially draining. What’s troublesome is that the legal aspect is often the motivation to stay together, rather than love. 

Because marriage has these legal binds; a relationship without it, seems easier to walk away from.  In some ways it might be, but commitment is commitment. It’s possible to do your damndest without witnesses and an altar.

There are many financial benefits to marriage and if you are like me and you do not wish to marry then you definitely need to think about how you are going to cover yourself if your relationship results in Splitsville.
Historically, my only attraction to marriage was the fact that I wanted to be next -of -kin to my partner. 

Luckily I learned that in the state of California it is possible to be a legal next-of-kin to an unmarried partner.

Marriage in many ways is still somewhat of a business arrangement.  Fathers still give their daughters away and say to their future sons in law, “Take good care of her.” Even though we are far from the days where fathers exchange cattle and land for the expectation that the groom will protect a defenseless woman; there is still the idea that a woman needs protection and should be treated like a lady (whatever that means).
Although couples can certainly define their own marriage; most refer to contemporary traditions, based on historical rule.

According to Merriam-Webster marriage is defined this way:
 
a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage marriage>
b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock
c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
2
: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
3
: an intimate or close union marriage of painting and poetry — J. T. Shawcross

The majority of what is explained here has nothing to do with an actual relationship and more to do with ceremony and homophobia.
As you can tell by now, I have thought about the concept of marriage carefully. Once upon a time I wanted to marry and followed the preconceived logic, that marriage meant forever.

Over the years, I came to my own senses and realized that love can exist with effort and care alone.


To read PART 2, click here.
To read PART 3, click here

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bikini Kill tells us

The "admitation" is unfortunate. Try to get by it. It's hard, but try.
On the Men's Rights Movement: “If a guy starts saying what you are doing is reverse sexist, he is obviously threatened by what you are doing. He’s threatened because he thinks there are only two ways to be: powerful or powerless. He assumes you asserting you rights is a way to take power away from him. He assumes you wanna “switch places” with him. He knows you get treated like shit and he knows he gets advantages from your imposed inferiority. He’s fearing REVENGE, girlfriend. His fear of “reverse sexism” is basically an admitation on his part that he knows you get treated like shit and does not want to switch places with you.” 
— Bikini Kill “Girl Power” zine

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tower Records in 1974

Wow.

Tower Records in 1974
Photo courtesy of Nick Faitos
Posted by
Vintage Los Angeles






















Tower Records wasn't the best record store in the world, but it was a record store. In case you haven't noticed, we don't really have them anymore. Amoeba Records is my nirvana and I am indeed grateful for it. The day that store dies, a part of me will go with it.

I can't imagine what Tower Records was like back then as it was before my time. What pleased me about its existence is that it carried more than just mainstream recordings.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guess What?


Cotton Candy Cupcakes

































cutest food

1940s Vintage "Navy Oreleans Dress" from Adored Vintage

Looky what I got! A new 1940s vintage piece purchased at Adored Vintage. The Vintage Boutique is located in Los Angeles. The show room is available by appointment and the site allows for purchases online.

AV finds their items at flea markets and antique shops. They sell their clothing in good condition and take the guess work (for the most part) out of sizing and fit. Eras range from 1900s to 1970s and an occasional 1980s piece. I'm almost always a 1940s gal, but once in a blue moon, I'll find a 30s piece I like. Check out the site, and see for yourself.

Sorry fellas, they don't sell men's clothes.


































AV calls this dress, Navy Orleans Dress.


































Description from the online boutique: Vintage 1940s dark indigo navy blue dress. Rounded neckline, short sleeves, and sheer illusion bodice along the top. Fabric has pinstripe piping throughout and contrasting horizontal lace panels. Features attached little brooch with rhinestone and original belt.




































Belt buckle is a bit faded; stitching remains in tact.


































To find your own special piece, visit Adored Vintage. Shop is updated regularly.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Someone Please Do This To Me


































source unknown

You can say that again.

Yes.


yeah, man


















Billie has his place but, c'mon.






















source unknown

Happy 21st Birthday to Nirvina's Nevermind

Happy 21st Anniversary to Nevermind - released Sept. 24, 1991
 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dog vs Cat + Human





















Namaste Café

On Digging Out My Ex Wife's Tampon by Hugo Schwyzer

Am emotional piece that's hard to shake -- I sat with this for quite a while. Below is a well written article by the always honest, Hugo Schwyzer. Schwyzer is a gender studies professor at Pasadena City College.





















 (source)

Posted on XO Jane.

On Digging Out My Wife's Tampon
by Hugo Schwyzer


“I need your help to get my tampon out.”

10 summers ago, my third wife and I went on a family genealogy trip to Ireland. My father-in-law was one of those men whose life mission was to fill in as many branches of the family tree as possible.  He was also generous, flush from a handsome payout from his recent retirement. In the summer of 2002, he made his son, his daughter, and their spouses an offer that couldn’t be refused: an all-expenses paid trip to the Emerald Isle for a fortnight of eating, drinking, hiking and poking around graveyards.

When we boarded that flight to Dublin, “Elisabeth”* and I were just 14 months into our marriage. It was my third, but her first, and she was already growing certain that she’d made a terrible mistake. We were good friends, intellectually compatible and from similar backgrounds. We looked good together; the kind of couple that elicits remarks like “Seeing you two together gives me hope for true love” from single friends. Our cordiality and ease together wasn’t an act. We liked each other.

Elisabeth and I had very little sexual chemistry. After making so many impulsive choices based on lust when I was younger, I was ready to settle for warmth over heat. Increasingly, as the marriage wore on, Elisabeth wasn’t nearly so willing to settle.  By the time we passed our first anniversary, we were fighting daily, in that civil way that involved a lot of anxious whispers and very little shouting. And by the time we left for Ireland, we hadn’t had sex in more than a month.

Perhaps it was the return to the land of her ancestors that gave her the courage to demand the divorce. On our third night in Ireland, in a tiny room in a B&B in rural Wicklow, Elisabeth told me -- tearfully but with resolve -- that she wanted out. I pleaded, keeping my cracking voice low because my in-laws were on the other side of a paper-thin wall. My wife stayed firm. We stayed up until dawn, talking and crying. As the sun rose, I agreed to the divorce.

Because Elisabeth and I were both good WASPs (I’m half-Jewish, but my demeanor comes from the Anglican side of the family), we decided to pretend that nothing was wrong for the remaining 11 days of the family trip. Though I later learned my mother-in-law suspected something was amiss, we played the part of the still happily married couple (“We might try for a baby next year!”) from Bantry to Ballycastle.   When we were alone in our hotel bedrooms at night, we watched TV or read, speaking as little as possible and with exaggerated courtesy.

On our last night in Ireland, we stayed in Navan. After a last grand family dinner, Elisabeth and I retreated to our room. She went to the bathroom to shower. Half an hour went by while I waited impatiently on the bed, leafing through a magazine, my bladder uncomfortably full. I didn’t want to pee in front of Elisabeth anymore, and there were no public restrooms in the B&B. Just as I was about to go outside to whizz behind a tree, my wife came out of the bathroom. She was naked, something she hadn’t been in front of me since we’d agreed to separate.

“My tampon’s stuck. I’m sorry, but I think I need your help to get it out.” Elisabeth’s face was red with embarrassment and frustration. “It’s never happened before. I tried to change it before we left for dinner and I couldn’t. I’ve been trying for half an hour but it’s wedged so high I can’t get to it with my fingers. I can’t find the string. I don’t want to leave it in overnight.”

Elisabeth and I may not have had much sexual heat together, but we’d always had kindness and at least flashes of empathy. I thought of what the last few minutes must have been like for her before she came out of the bathroom, as the realization set in that she couldn’t get the tampon out without my help.  From her face, I guessed she’d tried absolutely everything (including, she told me later, using her toothbrush handle) to avoid having to ask for such intimate assistance from a man she was determined to leave.

I told her yes, of course, I’d help. Awkwardly, I got up and began to walk toward her. Without meeting my eyes, Elisabeth pointed to the bathroom, telling me softly to cut my nails and wash my hands first.
When I came out, Elisabeth was lying on her back on the bed, an unopened bottle of lubricant beside her. I’d packed it in the optimism that the aphrodisiac of travel would rekindle our lukewarm sex life. But it had never left the suitcase.

I opened the bottle, lubed up my fingers, and asked Elisabeth if she was ready.

“Yes,” she said, her voice resigned and certain. She drew her knees up as if she were in stirrups. “It’s really up there.  Go slow.”

I slid my fingers into her vagina, my heart pounding. Suddenly, embarrassingly, I was erect -- more a conditioned physiological response than evidence of real lust. I needn’t have worried that my soon-to-be-ex-wife had noticed; Elisabeth was studying the ceiling, trying to breathe deeply as I tentatively probed inside of her.

Somehow, the tampon had worked its way behind Elisabeth’s cervix and gotten itself wedged in there. I could feel it but couldn’t grasp it at first.

“I’m going to have to push a little harder,” I told her.

Her voice was tight and pleading. “Just get it out, Hugo. Be gentle but do what you need to do to get it out. If you can.”

I’m not sure how long it took, perhaps three interminable minutes as I worked my fingers into places they’d never been when we were first in love and playing at being passionate. At last, I found the string (which had wound itself around the tampon), and pulled; it all slid out easily. Elisabeth gave a little grunt of deliverance:  “Jesus.”

She jumped up from the bed, and we had a strange fumbling moment as she reached for the tampon to go throw it away, and I didn’t let it go. I finally let her take it from my fingers, we each whispered a quick and simultaneous, “sorry,” and Elisabeth disappeared into the bathroom. I remembered suddenly how badly I needed to piss, and I went outside to relieve myself behind the parking lot. Strangely -- or maybe not -- my cock was still hard as a rock, and I had to wait a painful while before my erection subsided enough to let me urinate.

When I was finished, I stood staring at the Irish sky, feeling a greater sadness and sense of imminent loss than I’d felt at any time on the trip. I let the tears come.

When I came back to the room, Elisabeth was out of the shower, with nothing on but the towel wrapped around her hair and a fresh tampon string dangling between her legs. We looked at each other, and I knew with absolute certainty that I was seeing her naked for the last time.

“Thank you for that,” she murmured.

“Of course,” I replied, biting back the “I love you” that rose instinctually in my throat.

Elisabeth smiled.  “Well,” she said with the laugh she used when we both needed comforting, “we’ll always have Navan.”

*name changed. Duh.

Immediate Reactions

There are certain expressions I can't look at.

cupcake















The Tattoo Page

Seas

































The Tattoo Page

Flowers Do Things














The Tattoo Page

Which One?


I Can Do This


Poke Poke


Easy Choices


Honey Pie


Oh Ovaries


Mitt Romney 2012


In Caves

Zarina - Hana, Maui (7-76)

Check out the Ballerina Project blog:
http://ballerinaproject.com/
 

Nothing Better

It feels so good to feel better.

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's almost like praying..



Bianca Santhany in Brazil
From Pole Spin Magazine































Great Poster

Waitin' for this car to pick me up. Please oh please.