This could be by training, by profession, by hobby, whatever. You get to decide. Pick as many as you want. Add details in the comments! Especially if you choose other!
Not *every* blog post can be pure gold… What’s your favorite kind of cheese?
^the kitten likes this key.
alt + windows key noooooooooooooooo
right click. snifff sniff. turn on webcam. change hotkeys.
look the kitten made an accidental emoticon!
update: the kittens have all been adopted! yayyyy! Tell us happy things in the comments.
This video because I am a huge nerd. Also this video (NSFW!) because it is the funniest thing in the whole world. Kanye’s song Power. Albums and songs by Monty Python, MC Frontalot (quite a lot of songs), U2, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (singing Handel), Kathleen Battle, Michelle Branch, OAR, old Madonna, TMBG, Jessie J, Jonathan Coulton, the Muppets, P!nk, the Police, the Lion King, and the complete soundtrack of Labyrinth.
What about you?
In college we had to give a writing sample on a book that changed the way we view the world. I wrote about Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I failed that writing test in college and had to re-take the test with a different question (so as not to have to take remedial writing!) because I’m fairly sure the person who graded me didn’t like what I got out of it. I knew what I was supposed to get out of it, but the tired civilized man dystopia/ wild man utopia always seemed false to me and I felt it must have been tacked on because Aldous Huxley had created a world that, though frightening and different than our own, was too perfect. Huxley had to come up with a way to destroy its merits, and that destruction fell flat in my mind. 1984 is a far more obvious dystopia; Huxley had to work at destroying his utopia. Instead, I wrote about how I learned to think like an anthropologist from the book , though I didn’t phrase it as being thinking like an anthropologist. I just talked about how it showed me that culture shapes the way we view our world (using um, culture’s views of sex being a primary cause of rape as my primary example, which I still know to be correct– if there is no shame to sex, it can no longer be used as a weapon).*
I’ve been thinking about Brave New World and how what I got out of it is different than most literary theory about it. Anyhow, I think I got something different out of Brave New World for two main reasons: 1. Although none of the true main characters are women (the one main character woman is kind of a cog who exists to reflect the male main characters), women in that utopia world sure have a hell of a lot better life than women in the real world, even if men don’t necessarily and 2. I’m an alpha and when I read Brave New World life sucked so much as an alpha and if I rebelled against the social order in Brave New World my punishment would have been to go to a true island utopia populated only by other alphas and oh man oh man that was a dream world for middle-school me (one that came true in high school!).
So I looked up feminist criticisms of brave new world on google, and after adding the name “huxley” so as not to get so much stuff about modern sex that just uses the phrase, I came up with a few interesting articles. Margaret Atwood (who literally wrote the book on feminist dystopia) has an interesting article on how it has stood up after 75 years. This google book has some neat discussion questions from a feminist perspective.
And I wonder about how our perceptions in our current society shape what we view as utopia and dystopia, and how clear it is that we need more authors willing and able to write from different perspectives. How much literary theory only makes sense from a middle-class white male viewpoint? How many messages seem shallow when you’re not the intended audience? Feminist theory shouldn’t be relegated in its own niche and ignored by everybody who isn’t a feminist theorist. We could all benefit from a little anthropology in our world-views.
How often do you feel like you’re not the target audience? Do you feel like that has shaped your world-view for when you are the target? And what did you get out of reading Brave New World?**
*Despite not finishing the make-up test and freaking out about that, the writing instructor who graded the make-up told me that based on that writing, it didn’t make sense that I had to take the make-up in the first place, which made me feel better. I got asked to be a writing tutor a year later. So I’m pretty sure whoever graded me just didn’t like my arguments. Another reason for me to never go into the humanities. And yes, my formal writing is much less stream-of-consciousness than my blogging. I’m a big believer in outlines and topic sentences.
**It’s short! And not as traumatic as say, The Handmaid’s Tale (to me, anyway).
#1 DH got the interior of my car detailed! It is no longer scuzzy at all [update: except the tip of the emergency brake– I’ve mostly gotten that clean though] and they tacked the fabric back in the doors. Yay DH!
I also got a pillow protector, Akata Witch, The very nearly honorable league of pirates #1, The well of ascension, What works for women at work, What If?, and One Lady Two Cats off my wishlist. Oh, and new sheets and towels (the former of which we really need since one of our two sets literally disintegrated a week before Christmas). My stupid plan to keep my SIL from getting me the thing marked “lowest” off my Amazon list by not marking anything as “lowest” failed when she got me something not on my wishlist at all. I’m not actually sure what it is… some kind of housewares thing that looks like one of those trays you serve breakfast in bed with except it specifically says not to use with food. (Also it’s seriously scratched up on the bottom.) DC1 drew me a super awesome comic strip with Pokémon putting up a Christmas tree and Pikachu lighting it up with predictable effects (“Does anyone else smell smoke?”). The last panel says, “Now we sit and wait for presents to appear.” My sister got DH and me a joint gift from her trip to Italy with small tasting liquors (including pistachio which I have been looking for in the US for AGES) and ancient balsamic vinegar sweet enough to go over vanilla ice cream. Win!
The kids got a tonne of stuff. Highlights of the best include a wooden toy tool belt from my sister, The Book with No Pictures, and The Most Magnificent Thing. I *strongly* recommend the most magnificent thing for any budding engineers (under the age of say, 9 or 10) on your list, or even just budding perfectionists. Oddly DC1 got catapults from multiple family members this year. We can do a serious siege on the wooden castle now (we only had one catapult before).
#2’s partner got her a dice bag which is black leather with purple dragon on it. Inside are purple dice, lavender dice, and steampunk-y dice. I’ve been borrowing partner’s purple dice for D&D.
I also got lots of books! I love books! And amazon gift cards! That I spent! On books! [ed: If you wonder what books she got, you’ll have to ask her in the comments!]
Did you get anything especially fun or unusual?