?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Thank You!!

  • Dec. 10th, 2009 at 10:27 AM
Books
I love the gorgeous snowflake cookies!! Thank you so much midnitemaraud_r, jaceyevans, regala_electra, and topaz_eyes!! It means a lot to me, especially since I haven't been around much lately. I love you all and I hope you're enjoying the holiday season! <3
Books
Hi! I have an interview at a legal office as a transcriptionist. I sent in my resume and honestly I have no idea what my chances are of getting the job-- I type over 100 WPM but that is my only real qualification.

Anyway, I know I need to make a good impression on my interview tomorrow, but I don't have a suit. I'm wearing dark black ankle pants with red moderate-height heels with a white short-sleeved button down/collared shirt. It's very Audrey Hepburn, but I'm worried I'll look too chic rather than professional.

I'm 20 and I don't have much cash, so do you think I can get away with that outfit? Also, my hair is just a little longer than shoulder-length-- can I wear it in a ponytail? Or is down more professional?

Any help would be REALLY appreciated, I'm super nervous!

ETA: These are the ankle pants, which I'm wearing with this shirt.

ETA 2: These are my red shoes.

Tags:

Star Trek Movie

  • May. 9th, 2009 at 12:08 AM
Books
In the interest of full disclosure, I have never seen Star Trek: TOS. I am a big fan of The Next Generation and Voyager, and tolerated a few seasons of Deep Space Nine. That said, I am beyond impressed by this movie. I saw it today and already I'm planning on seeing it at least two more times in theatres-- and the last time I saw a movie more than once in theatres was the first LotR movie, when my teenage self had a thing for Orlando Bloom.

Cut for spoilers!Collapse )

Amazon's Customer Service Response

  • Apr. 13th, 2009 at 2:45 PM
Books
I just called and spoke to a Jennifer in the Customer Service Department, and she said that it is a "technical error" that is being "fixed" right now. I told her I don't see how a so-called glitch could ONLY target LGBT books, and that aside, why Amazon feels it needs to censor my searches at all.

She apologized, said she really doesn't know anything about it, and that she'd report my dissatisfaction to the company.

If anyone else wants their dissatisfaction reported, you can call Amazon's Customer Service line at 1-206-266-1000.

Tags:

Books
After following the AmazonFail all day, I wrote the following opinion column for my school newspaper:

This Easter Sunday, Amazon.com resurrected the burning of books.

After top-selling authors of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) literature noticed their books were no longer appearing in searches or in sales rankings, Amazon issued a statement saying that in order to protect their customers, any adult or obscene material would be excluded from searches and best-seller lists, and hence de-ranked.

Yet interestingly enough, “adult” and “obscene” does not cover horrifically violent books about dog-fighting, or pornographic shots of women in Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds, or The Mammoth Book of Dirty, Sick, X-Rated and Politically Incorrect Jokes: The Ultimate Collection of X-Rated Gags. Neither is Lolita considered obscene or adult, despite the protagonist being a pedophile who has sex with a child.

And poorly written sex scenes written by Right-Wingers are fine. Scooter Libby’s book, bestiality included, is still ranked, as is Bill O’Reilly’s amateurish thriller.

The hypocrisy of Amazon’s new censorship policy is mind-boggling. Classics like Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Brokeback Mountain are just a few casualties of Amazon’s attempt to lessen the visibility of GLBT authors.

And it’s not just fiction that’s getting burned by this new policy; even nonfiction titles, such as Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America, are censored.

Apparently, only literature aimed at heterosexuals is non-obscene.

Amazon’s new policy is discrimination, pure and simple. It is censorship. And it is wrong.

In high school many of us were required to read Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, both of which were previously excluded from public libraries and held top spots on the Banned Books list for being “dangerous,” “radical,” and “subversive.” It seems the executives at Amazon missed a few too many English classes, because they are following in a long, tragic tradition of suppressing ideas, freedom of expression, and individual liberty.

I am insulted that Amazon has decided what I can and cannot search for; what can and cannot be included on a Best-Seller List; and what topics are too inappropriate or too adult. By instituting this policy, Amazon has declared itself the Morality Police, and any voices at odds with conservative Christian values are silenced.

If you support equality in the arts, are against censorship, and want to decide for yourself what books to read, join me in boycotting Amazon.

The only book I’ve ever burned was my high school math textbook; and until Amazon rescinds its discriminatory policy, I’ll be buying my textbooks elsewhere.

/end

Also, moony has posted that Amazon has specifically targeted the word "homosexual" as a "profane" word that cannot be included in one's user profile.

Additionally, copperbadge has a few recent posts indicating WHY this is in no way "just a glitch" and why we're right to be upset at Amazon.
Books
I love CNN.com, but when they hosted the Parenting.com article, Holy Hormones I just about had a holy hissy fit.

Here's what I wrote into CNN and into Parenting.com:

I was dismayed when I read the article titled "Holy Hormones! What to expect when puberty hits" by Denene Millner. I was shocked when Millner, whose goal was to establish a frank discussion about puberty, made the regressive, unfounded, and flippant parenthetical comment that "(Girls masturbate, too -- it just seems to be a bigger part of boys' lives.)

This statement is perpetuating ancient stereotypes about what is the "norm" for female sexuality. There is still a lot of cultural shame/pressure exerted upon women to be "pure," non-sexual beings, whereas it's okay to acknowledge (and even encourage) sexuality in boys.

This article is divided into three categories: what to expect for girls, what to expect for boys, and what to expect for both genders. I cannot imagine any scientifically supported reason to not include "masturbation" as a normal human experience for both boys AND girls. Many studies have been conducted demonstrating that women have an equivalent to "wet dreams," where they may experience nocturnal orgasms (which is not even to broach the topic of the female ejaculation). Therefore, it is highly sexist and scientifically inappropriate to relegate masturbation, or wet/erotic dreams, to the purely "male" experience of puberty.

I am wholeheartedly disappointed with this article and its negative impact on how parents will discuss emerging sexuality with their girls. It is IMPERATIVE that parents empower their young girls and let them know that masturbation is okay and normal for them, too. By publishing scientifically inaccurate statements about masturbation not being an equally important and significant part of girls' sexual development, you're sending a psychologically damaging message. I hope that a clarification and/or retraction of this article will rectify the harms the author has (presumably unwittingly) committed.



Obviously, they have not deigned to reply.
Books
Michelle Obama’s trip to the G-20 summit is perhaps as publicized as her husband’s, though for different reasons; the main concern with her trip is “What is she wearing” (J. Crew) and “Who is she sitting next to at dinner?” (J.K. Rowling, among others).

I was struck by this tonight as I was watching “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC, a typically left-leaning news channel. Matthews was speculating about the imminent meeting between Michelle and French President Sarkozy’s wife, Carla Bruni, who is a model/singer. Matthews makes this extraordinary remark anticipating their upcoming introduction:

“ [Michelle’s] a lawyer, Carla Bruning, let’s face it, she’s a model. May I say, “babe.” [laughter] Nicolas Sarkozy’s probably not the coolest guy in the world, but one of the prizes of office was to get to marry the model of the year or whatever. But Michelle’s a serious person, she happens to be beautiful, that’s an accidental quality God gave her. But here we go, the meeting, what’s it going to be like? […] Dress for success?! Dress to beat the other?!”

This disturbed me for many reasons. First, Matthews is making a sexualized comment about Carla Bruni (saying she’s a “babe”) and uses his perception of her as a sex object as reason to conclude that she could not possibly be intelligent, or at least not as intelligent as Michelle. This is more than a stereotype of the “dumb blonde” (though it’s worth noting Bruni is a brunette); it’s a misogynistic take on women who choose to use their perceived beauty and/or sexual power to be successful.

Moreover, Matthews makes a flippant remark about Carla being a “prize” for Sarkozy. This is a further insult to her intelligence and her character (that the only reason she would marry an “uncool” guy like Sarkozy is because he’s powerful, which harkens back to traditional hierarchical power struggles in heterosexual couplings).

Perhaps more egregiously, Matthews then puts Michelle in the box of being a “serious intellectual,” which he implies precludes her from being beautiful because he finds it necessary to add, “who happens to be beautiful.” Matthews finds Michelle’s beauty surprising, and therefore noteworthy, because obviously most beautiful women don’t become lawyers; beautiful women become models, like Carla. Matthews then says that Michelle’s beauty is an “accidental quality God gave her.” Apart from my personal atheistic viewpoint on the (non)existence of God, I find this very puzzling; why should her beauty be any more accidental than her intelligence, or her serious demeanor? Why does Matthews characterize Michelle’s beauty as superfluous and non-defining, but in Carla’s case, as essential and defining?

Lastly, Matthews plays on old stereotypes of women being insecure about their looks and therefore feeling the need to compete amongst each other for the (dubious) honor of being the most beautiful. Matthews eagerly envisions the “confrontation” between these two women, demanding his guests comment on how their fashion choices will stack up against each other’s. This is problematic on many levels. Matthews’s choice to focus on what they’re wearing is perpetuating a culture where women are valued only for their bodies and the way they adorn them to make themselves pleasing to the opposite sex (it’s clear that Matthews doesn’t believe they will be dressing to please each other; he explicitly defines it as a competition). Discussing fashion choices might be more justifiable had he been making a commentary on all the Summit leaders and their spouses, but by focusing exclusively on the two thinnest, youngest, and “sexualized” women, he’s reducing the worth of all the spouses; only those we can make into sex objects are worthy of attention. Not one mention is made of any spouse’s work (outside of deriding Carla for being a model, and expressing shock that Michelle is, miraculously, both smart AND beautiful—an almost unheard of combination!!).

I think Michelle Obama, while being touted as “Jackie O. 2.0,” represents a truly new kind of “First Lady,” the kind of First Lady who makes obvious the anachronistic title of the role (it would sound antiquated and ridiculous, for instance, for a female president’s husband to be referred to as the “First Gentleman”). The press’s reaction to her is one of general bemusement and pleasant surprise: Why, she used to be President Obama’s boss when they first met at a law firm! She has a slim build and nicely toned arms! She wears unpretentious brands! Here the messages express puzzlement—here is this beautiful, trendsetting woman, who nonetheless bucks tradition by being arguably the best-educated First Lady (tied with Hillary Clinton) and the first African-American.

Michelle does not rile those who were such stringent critics of Hillary, and perhaps it is a mark of the way times have changed—or, more likely, Michelle is accessible and friendly in a way that Hillary was not, and in a way that has still allowed the press to sexualize her. (Say what you will about Hillary’s pantsuits, but no one ever debased themselves by commenting on her body, which served her well politically.)

I recently read Curtis Sittenfield’s novel “American Wife” which is a fictionalization of Laura Bush’s life. I was skeptical when I began reading, given my great dislike of George Bush, but I developed a newfound sympathy for the role Laura was obligated to fulfill. At the age of 17 Laura ran through a stop sign, causing a terrible car accident that killed a classmate at her high school, but which left her unscathed. She was a lifelong Democrat, a librarian and schoolteacher, who fell in love with a Republican. I so enjoyed the novel that I then read Ann Gerhart’s biography of Laura, aptly titled “The Perfect Wife.” Laura is well-read and respected for her work on literacy, yet throughout her husband’s political career she was careful to never give any indication that she disagreed with his politics, even the Patriot Act, which tracks the books Americans check out from the library and the content they browse on the web. This stands in stark contrast to Hillary, who was an active participant in her husband’s administration, and to Michelle, who has publically teased and disagreed with her husband.

Michelle is an unprecedented combination of past First Ladies: She has the gumption of Eleanor Roosevelt; she has the intelligence of Hillary Clinton; she has the style and poise of Jackie O.; and she has the genuineness of Laura Bush. So with all this going for her, it is perhaps unsurprising that the media vacillates between focusing on her accomplishments in her own right, and her role as wife to the President of the United States.

My question is this: do you think Michelle can, or should, redefine what it means to be "First Lady"? Do you think her treatment by the media has been misogynistic or somehow anti-feminist?

Fic: The Heart of Darkness, chapter 4

  • Dec. 7th, 2008 at 4:52 AM
Books
Title: The Heart of Darkness
Rating: NC-17
Genre: Romance, Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama
Word Count: Approx. 3,500
Characters/Pairings: Edward/Bella, canon couples
Summary: Set post-Eclipse. Getting married without tripping her way down the aisle was supposed to be Bella’s biggest worry before she and Edward began eternity together. But the Volturi, an unforeseen friend, and an unexpected enemy create more complications than even Alice could have predicted. Bella thought being dead would make things easier, but for once there’s more at stake than simply staying alive. And somehow, Forks is still at the heart of it all....
Warnings: Spoilers for Eclipse. Written before Breaking Dawn. Graphic sexual situations; graphic violence.
Disclaimer: If I was Smeyer, this would have been the plot of Breaking Dawn. Since I’m not, this fanfic is being posted without profit and without ridiculous names.
Author's Note: This was written before Breaking Dawn and with the help and input from my friend, snuggle_muggle. To all the reviewers who have waited very, very patiently for this chapter, I want to say thank you. Thank you so, so much for all the encouragement. You're the reason why I continue to write :)

Links to previous chapters:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

In the nights that followed I woke up gasping for breath, my chest heaving painfully as my heart raced.Collapse )
Books
Title: Filling In the Blanks (Or, Ten Easy Ways to Take Control of Your Life)
Fandom: House M.D.
Pairing: House/Cuddy, House/Wilson/Cuddy friendship
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 5,400
Spoilers: Post-ep for "Let Them Eat Cake"
Summary: “We don’t have to go home,” House said, ignoring her last jibe. “We could go anywhere you’d like. Movies, restaurants, dancing. Except for that last one. But I could watch. I happen to keep a supply of singles on me, just in case you’re ever in a dancing mood.”

Filling In the Blanks (Or, Ten Easy Ways to Take Control of Your LifeCollapse )

Author's Note: All medical information regarding House's case is from Wikipedia. This is my first House fic, so I'd love some feedback before I crosspost. Concrit is very welcome! :)

My newest obsession: House M.D.

  • Dec. 3rd, 2008 at 12:21 AM
Books
I haven't updated in a few months, though I've been checking my f-list occasionally. Medically I'm fine now, after many hospital visits and medications, and I want to thank everyone for being so incredibly supportive. I <3 you all!

I really lost interest in Twilight after reading Breaking Dawn. For those of you who are here for the Twilight fic, you might find some more Heart of Darkness updates-- I have some of the next chapter written, so if nothing else I'll post that. I'm really disillusioned with Stephenie Meyer right now, though, so I'm not too interested in working on that. I just... Breaking Dawn was such a disaster. I didn't even go see the movie.

Anyway. My newest obsession is House M.D.. It is officially the best television show of all time! My reaction to tonight's episode, "Let Them Eat Cake," is cut for spoilers.

Smeyer should watch House for a few pointers on creating strong female charactersCollapse )

I really need to stop becoming obsessed with new fandoms. I've already started on a House fic, lol.

Anyway, f-list-- how are you? I've missed being active on LJ... I've made it a goal to be around more often :)