Sunday, August 31, 2008

stuff to come!



So, I know this blog has been seriously fashion deprived, but I have a whole bucketload of things to talk about on queue. If you lovelies can be patient, I promise I'll deliver. Tuesday tuesday tuesday!

{I forget where I got that picture from, but if I were a cartoon character, it would be my permanent uniform. And I have those shoes!}

OH MY GOD.



"The other thing about her, she does know a thing about International Relations, because she's up there in Alaska, right next to Russia."

silly but I love it.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

LOLZ pt 2.



I know it's mean to make fun of people for their appearance, but I only do it when it comes to fashion. These Jonas Brothers are all conventionally good looking and they have nice hair, but good god. Those outfits. are. so. CONTRIVED. Though I've never seen one of those headbands on a dude before, so...points for originality!

When Disney goes Hipster, does that mean the trend has finally jumped the shark?

so long.



Hey Portland,

I know I'm leaving two weeks earlier than planned, but it's nothing personal. I just had to go. The timing was bad. Actually, if I may be honest...it IS a bit personal. Get some damn media jobs already. I still love you. I'll be back in a few years, for real this time.

x
allison

{photo credit}

AWKWARD...



And uh...kind of unnecessary. WHY THE FUCK IS SHE HOLDING HER BABY?!?!?!?!?! Where are McCain's kids? And the rest of her kids?

Jesus god. I just signed up to volunteer for the Obama campaign.

wedding attire!



BUTTON COLLAGE CLOSE UP:





Ohhh...I feel so preppy!

{anthropologie dress, juicy couture shoes}

Friday, August 29, 2008

I LOVE THIS.



See it move here.

{via because I'm addicted}

we are more than walking vaginas.



If this doesn't scream sexist thinking to you, maybe you should clean out your ears. McCain picks Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, as his VP pick because she's a woman, hoping to court the undecided-PUMA-esque female vote. Because any woman is just as good as any other! Clinton, Palin, they've all got vaginas. So what's the difference?

I find it so offensive, but also a little scary. What if it works? My dad doesn't think it will. "But she's anti-choice!" he says. He's a bit out of touch. PLENTY of women are anti-choice. The logic baffles, I know, but it's true.

Why else would he pick her? She's less experienced than Obama. McCain railed on Obama for his lack of experience. She has a son going to Iraq, chose not to abort a baby with Downs' Syndrome (which she would never do ANYWAY, she doesn't believe in abortion even in cases of rape and incest...so why is she being commended as heroic?), and is likable and non-threatening.

McCain's pandering, which they all do, but someone aptly said that his new name should be Wilmer Pander-ama.

What do you think? Some moderate-to-conservative women are so offended by this essentialist attempt to nab their vote that they don't want to vote for McCain anymore. Still, the Right loves self-loathing "minorities". Just look at Alan Keyes.

that was fast.

Watch Obama's 2008 DNC speech here.

naive optimism.



I'm feeling kind of despondent -- well, REALLY despondent -- and obviously have nothing else to do than stalk the blogs and respond accordingly. Supposedly Obama's DNC speech was really great, but I won't be able to watch it until it's posted on the internets.

So I watched his DNC speech from 2004 instead, and it made me sad. It was so inspiring, so hopeful, so idealistic. The part about him being an unlikely speaker made me misty-eyed to be sure, but what really got me was the line about him having an African name that would remain free from judgment in America. Not especially gut-wrenching, but the sentiment behind it is so innocent and shockingly far from what has actually transpired.

Obviously there are millions of amazing people, in this country and worldwide, both black and white (as well as any other race), who truly believe that race or gender should have no bearing on a person's competency as president. But there are also millions who don't.

My liberal mother works in DC, the hub of all political activity in this country, and STILL thinks Obama is a Muslim, and that that is reason enough not to vote for him. Because religious bigotry is okay in this country, unless it's towards Christians.

Plenty of people think Michelle Obama is "militant" about being black because she majored in African American Studies and wrote her thesis on her experiences as a black woman at Princeton. When someone I know brought up this point, I countered with the fact that I wished I had double-majored in Women's Studies, and whether that makes me "militant" about my femininity. She had no response.

And these are the more educated reactions. Read the comments on any YouTube video featuring the Obamas (actually, don't) and you'll see tons of racist rhetoric and epithets. It's so depressing.

The saddest part is, there are tons of people who think that the Democratic party's policies would be better for people in general, but not for THEM personally. For they are the rich, and if you want to keep all the money you make, you vote Republican. Because being able to afford Ethan Allen furniture, a 21-foot-boat AND a new wet bar for your basement you'll never use all in one season are much more important than making sure everyone has enough money to pay their bills and still afford food.

Weltschmertz all over again. What can we do?

this is almost as bad as electing bush TWICE.


I am an idiot. I haven't been eating much, so while I was out, I decided to stock up on some energy bars to make sure I don't die of malnutrition. When I'm at home, I usually eat lemon zest Luna Bars (ClifBars for the ladies), but I couldn't find any at Whole Foods. So I bought another Odwalla bar. Not even one with a flavor, mind you. Just the kind called "Super Protein"! All the flavors they had looked so disgusting, my mind must have been relieved to see one without some dazzlingly nauseating coupling. So I bought THREE.

...BLEGH. I don't want ANYONE to have to eat these EVER. Maybe George Bush. Well, yeah, definitely Rush Limbaugh.

I can't place the flavor. Plastic bucket, maybe? Garden hose? I speak from experience.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

culture of fear.



As I was walking to Whole Foods (I'm not normally this organic, it's just the only grocery store in the area I know of. If I could I'd be guzzling Diet Coke and devouring Entenmann's orangutan-killing chocolate donuts, trust), I started thinking about how it was already almost dark at 8. I decided that while I'm here, in an unfamiliar city and all, I should be inside by nightfall when alone. My little walk got me wondering whether this is a normal (or, I should say, common) mindset to have.

Before I went to college, I never worried about getting raped. It just never crossed my mind. Once I started my first year at JMU, I noticed my three best guy friends taking certain...protective steps, I guess, around me. I lived in the crappy dorms on the ugly side of campus (with the worst roommate ever) while they lived together in the nice honors dorms, a bit of a walk away. When we would hang out, I'd always go to their place to experience air conditioning and life without HockeyBabe (my roommate). When I left at night, at least one of them would always insist on walking me home. It felt pretty condescending, to be honest. I even wondered if it was a sign of romantic interest (AWKWARD). But then I realized it was their way of "protecting" me. This same type of thing happened when I went to school in Florida.

But I don't know if it's just me or not. I'm very, very tiny (not even five feet). I look young, weak, and unassuming. That weak part is definitely true. Am I just an easy target? Do most women have this constant fear of being attacked while walking alone at night? Do men?

Part of me thinks this attitude is very defeatist. My best friend Laura and I used to always get into overly-excited rants where we'd talk progressively louder and louder about the hypocrisy of society and end up red in the face over it. We'd just agree on a point and start yelling complementary statements about how flawed a certain way of thinking was. I think a few innocent bystanders witnessed our fury over the years. (Those were AMAZING times.)

Anyway, by thinking of ourselves as victims, by saying we can't walk home alone at night, can't drink too much, can't wear revealing clothing, aren't we just perpetuating our status as victims? We're never going to fix the problem if the answer is to avoid it. (Girls, just dress modestly, drink lightly and travel in packs. Rape will never happen to you again! Except for the date variety.) Furthermore, by saying our actions play a role in any rape or attempted rape, aren't we also partially blaming the victim? Because in the end, does it matter what we're wearing? Walking home alone might make a difference, okay. But if a man is looking to rape a woman, does it matter if she's wearing a miniskirt or a burqa? Do muslim women not get raped? I haven't been able to find any statistical evidence that clothing matters.

The line between keeping safe and thinking of yourself as a victim is tightrope-thin.

And why is it that women are constantly told how to avoid rape? Why isn't the emphasis on telling men not to rape women? There's a nation-wide group called Oneinfour, a support system for rape and attempted rape survivors, that's run by men. This I commend, but I'm not sure their work involves going to fraternities, high schools, or even elementary schools and emphasizing to young men the need to respect women.

The fact that men did not have to learn how to rape, the fact that it comes naturally, universally, is perhaps why I have such a pessimistic view of humanity. And its historical significance! Unlike school shootings and other "contextual" patterns of violence that have emerged fairly recently, this is something we've been grappling with for all of history. There's probably no easy fix.

Portland feels like a safe city. Sort of like Barcelona feels safe, in that what you have to worry about is being pickpocketed rather than murdered. Better to take my money than my life, of course (Actually, take my credit card and I'll just cancel it, bitchezzzz!). In fact, the incidence of homicide in Spain is so low that the current "most wanted" serial killer on the loose has killed two people over the course of several years. Two. I think one of those was accidental.

But parts of Portland are scary. All cities have scary parts. And what makes me sad about this fact, beyond the paralyzing effect it has on women, is that I love city life but don't know how to reconcile wanting to be safe with wanting to be autonomous. If I move to Richmond or DC, walking alone at night is not a "safe" option. So what do I do? Drive everywhere? Get a big dog? A gun? A taser? ...A boyfriend?

Relying on some "other" for my safety doesn't make me feel very strong. It makes me feel like a second class citizen.

can i go home now?











I woke up feeling chipper again today. I looked at the clock and saw that it was NINE. In the morning! I know to a normal person that might sound average -- late even -- but I'm a double digits kinda girl when it comes to waking up on my own terms. I take ADD medicine not to stay focused, but to stay awake. Plus, there are too many hours in the day when waking at nine, especially when one has so little to do. I tried going back to sleep to pass the time, failed, then settled on my surefire time-wasting combo smash of blog reading, passionate political emailing and carb noshing.

I decided to explore the Southwest side of Portland (which is the most typical-city-like part) but that plan kind of crashed and burned after an hour or so. Once again, my nerves/stomach/whatever got to me and told me to GET THE HELL BACK INSIDE. I first started feeling anxious after going into some expensive, desolate boutiques. I know many people like the one-on-one service (right?), but it makes me feel pressured and antsy. One place had the loveliest selection of Mayle -- MAYLE! The lable I've been lusting after! In person! -- but Jane Mayle apparently hates my body type because I look ridiculous in her clothes. Still, I almost talked myself into buying a $300 dress that looked wretched "just to be polite". TO BE POLITE, for fuck's sake. Talk about the negative effects of people pleasing: I'm a girl without a job here. I had to convince myself that I would most likely never see this very nice woman again and she probably wouldn't be too heartbroken if I decided not to purchase anything. Or, that she would hate me, assume I had no intention of buying anything in the first place and was simply wasting her time, but it'd still be okay because at least I'm leaving the state soon.

That little debacle left me needing some respite, so I did what any good American does: I found a mall and proceeded to eat Chinese food in the food court. Here I am in one of the best cities for foods of all kinds (including Chinese) and what do I do? Try something new? Support the local small businesses? Of course not! No, I find the most commercial vendor and order the most Americanized thing possible. But how can you argue with $5 General Tso's?

I had to laugh at how ironic the situation was. Here I am, a girl reading a book on the evils of suburban sprawl, willfully surrounding myself with Claire's, an Apple store and a McDonalds. I didn't want to go into a delightfully eccentric cafe for fear of sticking out like a sore thumb, I just wanted to disappear. And the sad part is, the homogeneity of these stores -- the mall itself -- made me feel instantly at ease. It's no wonder: I've been going to malls since I was a baby and they all look nearly identical. They're a constant in an uncertain world. Let us at least take solace in the fact that whatever happens and wherever we go, the mall will always be a mainstay with its brightly lit, ghostly white, fakely lush form. Especially at Christmas-time!

After I ate my Chinese food (and not even that much of it), I started feeling not-so-surprisingly sick again. I tried to do a bit of thrifting but all I could focus on was my stomach. (That, feeling sweaty, and the pointlessness of me being here.) I even went to Powell's Books, the biggest independent bookstore EVER and a Portland institution you could spend a whole day in. (It spans an entire city block.) Still sick. I decided to sit on the floor and surround myself with photography books. No relief. I tried escapism through fashion magazines. Nope.

I went back to my friend's apartment, and that's where I've been. Here I am, so small, in my temporary "home", internet-ing and blogging and listening to music and feeling a bit better. I'm a notorious hypochondriac. It's most certainly nothing. I have a ridiculously low tolerance for pain. But my stomach hurts, I feel weak and dizzy, and I want to go home. I don't want to be here anymore. I like Portland a lot, but like I said, I'm not ready to move out here. Part of me feels like a failure, but the other says that I've found my answer and I'm reacting rationally. Because the only thing here for me to do is shop, and I need to be saving my money anyway. So...can I leave now? I learned my lesson, guys! May I be excused?

I need to leave the house again to get food. I don't want to move. Literally and figuratively. I'm just not ready. I'm listening to the Lost in Translation soundtrack and, yeah, it's probably not making me feel any better, but I like wallowing in the collective loneliness of the movie. Bob and Charlotte had no idea what the fuck they were doing and didn't think anyone else could appreciate just how stranded they felt. That's pretty much how I feel.

Tommib - Squarepusher (from the Lost in Translation OST)

{photos mine. // wearing: aa tank, f21 skirt, rachel comey belt, alex & chloe necklaces, vintage granny boots.}

no sophomore slump.











Back to clothes. Bona Drag just got the new Sophomore NYC collection in today (well, put it up for sale today) and it is all AMAZING. I went overboard and bought buckets of it.

Speaking of my favorite boutiques, guess who I ran into today in downtown Portland? The lovely owner of Sotto! True to form, she looked smashing.

faux news knows what's important.



Fashion, what? Sorry, I've been stalking Jezebel and the commenters uncover so many good jems. The thing to worry about with Gustav is not the potential loss of life, but the potential loss of OIL! By the way, sinking land is hit hardest by flooding, and you know what contributes to the land sinking? Drilling for oil in the swamp!

pissy.

Have you guys ever read I Saw Your Nanny? Women write in to report "bad behavior" they've seen nannies commit while out and about (mostly being "negligent"). It's a good idea in theory, but in execution it reads like some of the most racist, classist bullshit I've ever seen. If you see some kind of abusive behavior, surely the best thing to do is go and blog about it rather than intervene!

For example:

I am a stay at home mother and I have a bone to pick with other mothers who allow their children to be cared for by what I see as a pack of transient Jamaican nannies. The children are kept out all day long. The nannies arrive at a congregating place at breakfast time with bagels, bread and rolls. The children are left in their strollers while the nannies drink their teas and coffees and eat their pastries. Some even read the paper. They chat on cellphones, but mostly among each other.

Ninety minutes passed and the children who were fed single fruit loops and cups of golden grahams for over an hour to keep them pacified are now released for play. Those who need changing get changed. Those who need to toilet are encouraged to relieve themselves on trees, shrubbery or on the grass which I stand. The children play while the nannies continue to talk amongst themselves, read the newspaper, make and take cell phone calls and sit. The nannies do not rise from a sitting position. True, some of the children do call out to be pushed but most have learned their lesson that nanny doesn't move. Some of the nannies disappear from the pack.

Did you know that? They return with shopping bags from the Gap, Old Navy and Mandy, Rite Aid, Walgreens, etc. When those nannies return, the nannies all look over their purchases and ooh and ahh with delight. The same ooh and ahh your daughter Charlotte sought from her nanny when she went down the slide on her stomach, but alas nanny never glanced her way.

Lunchtime arrives and the children are fed first. They are fisted squished sandwiches, crackers and bags of processed foods. Hands that have never been washed, hands that have wiped the bottoms and wrung out the weiners of their charges are stuffed into the mouths of toddlers with blank faces. Toddlers who must dream of the comforts of home and their beds. All the while the children are being fed, the nannies conversate over them. They do not look, speak or even pat a child on the head. They ooh, ahh and laugh amongst themselves. The children exchange blank expressions, big, hollow eyes on a sunny day. A shared, sadness.

After the children have finished eating, it is time for the nanny's feast. This involves shooing the children off to the equipment or sand and strapping the youngest children down in their strollers. The nannies whip out paper bags and old bread bags. Money is exchanged and a few of the nannies depart, (leaving our children under the care of this emotionless group) only to return with heavy, sopping styrofoam containers, dripping the secret grease of pungent ethnic food. They drink fruit sodas and bottled water. And what a spread it is. These nannies hurt not for money. Their portions are enormous, eaten with great gumption while talking amongst themselves. In the distance, a child calls out. A nanny in teal pedal pushers squints to see if it is her charge, but recognition does not register on her drawn and angry face.

An hour or so has passed and the children trickle back to the nanny's spot.. One little girl in a short sleeved red shirt hugs her nanny's legs. The nanny moves her knees to the left and the right, effectively shooing the child away. Another child, a boy of no more than three tries to climb up on his immense nannies lap, but he too is pushed away. "Go play, go on now".

The nannies clean up their area and most of their trash makes it's way to the garbage receptacle. A little boy named Adam asks if he can go home now. His nanny tells him that she is beat and now she gets to take a rest. With that, she crosses her arms across her chest and settles into the bench. The conversation slows. The nannies sit stone faced, baking in the afternoon sun.

More time passes and now it is snack time. There is more apple juice, there are cheddar crackers and goldfish. The children grope hungrily for the kibble and the nannies control each cracker with an iron fist. This nannies, their bellies still bursting from their afternoon feast share in every snack. For the most part, the children have grown accustom to this kind of sharing and are grateful for their nine goldfish and two ounces of juice.One thirsty boy defiantly remarks that his nanny drank his whole box of juice is dispensed to the water fountain and told to quit complaining, "go get some cold water now". The children are toileted on trees and the smalles among them are stripped down and changed roughly across park benches. One particlarly grim looking nanny has stowed all of her dirty diapers from the day in a bread bag at her feet, even though the garbage can is but 50 feet away.

It is now mid to late afternoon. Soon the nannies will warn that it will be time to go home soon. And slowly, they will gather their charges and most of their trash and trudge home. A whole day has passed with nary an educational activity, a word of praise, a loving gesture....

What the fuck? "dripping the secret grease of pungent ethnic food"? Somebody's an aspiring writer!

And a comment about the Jamaican nanny "incident":

Since the percentage of nannies of Caribbean descent is so large, it makes sense that you would have a number of Jamaican nanny sightings on this board.

I chose to hire an American and I highly recco that everyone do the same.

{via Jezebel and the New York Times}

my least favorite wildcat.



That woman, Cristi Atkins, doesn't sound like an educated liberal to me. She sounds like a racist Republican who only supported Hillary 'cause she liked the idea of a woman president.

As the election looms overhead, I'm getting pretty fucking irritable when it comes to these PUMAs (which stands for Party Unity My Ass -- I'll say!). This "voting bloc" are women who were supporting Hillary as the Democratic candidate and, when she gracefully ducked out of the race, said that they would not go on to support Obama. Instead, they are sitting this election out or voting for McCain out of anger towards the Democratic party for not standing up against media sexism lobbed at Hillary.

First, I'll play devil's advocate with myself and admit that the way Hillary was treated was abysmal. (Watch this video if you need reminding. Or a good cry.) The media, the voters; the way our society dealt with the first viable female presidential candidate really shows how far we have to go with this whole sexism thing. My sister's Republican boyfriend said that critiques of Hillary's appearance were fair since she's a woman and "people make fun of the way George Bush talks all the time!" Yes, well, George Bush is an idiot, and idiots probably shouldn't be president. I happen to like political correctness most of the time but is anyone going to argue against the idea that a person of below average intelligence probably shouldn't be president? Or is that suddenly discrimination?

Similarly, the way the PUMAs are being treated is sexist in itself. Rather than a dissatisfied faction, they're being lobbed as "crazy old ladies". Witches, bitches, petty over-emotional wenches. A Slate article criticized the PUMA party by "making women look bad" by acting "crazy" and like other negative female stereotypes, but who's the one identifying these women's actions as such? (Hint: THE MEDIA.) If they were men, they would not be labeled as crazy or bitchy. Which kind of proves their point.

THAT BEING SAID. Any woman who wants to vote for McCain instead of Obama in an act of solidarity "with Hillary" is kidding themselves. In Hillary's brilliant DNC speech, she articulated the point that anyone who stood behind her should stand behind Obama from this point on. And it's true: their policies are almost identical. So these PUMAs, who are supposedly upset with the way Hillary was treated by the media, are now acting in exact opposition to Hillary's wishes. Not exactly standing behind her, are they?

I have an older woman friend who doesn't plan on voting this election for this very reason. She thinks Obama is too inexperienced and just doesn't like the guy. She wants to punish the party (as if we'd ever learn...did she forget that this country elected Bush TWICE?). As the election draws nearer, I'm getting neurotic and sending her every snippet of good anti-PUMA reasoning I can find.

Such as:

"Hillary was incredible last night. She was positive, passionate and persuasive in her support of Obama. There were so many wonderful, touching, and funny moments. I didn't just tear up during the tribute video, I sobbed (the part where Chealsea said that the next generation should move ahead, but not forget who's shoulders we're standing on…) I couldn't have been happier as a Clinton supporter at that moment.

And finally, I managed to make it through the post-MSNBC review without wanting to break my tv! They were glowing in their review of her speech & while that doesn't make up for how they treated her through the campaign, it was still very nice to hear.

Also, I'm tired of hearing about those bitter, hysterical women who can't get over Hillary's loss. Where are they? I'm not convinced they really even exist (other than the ones the media searches out just to make all Clinton supporters look crazy). I'm just so tired of hearing about it!

I mean, I was a fervent Hillary supporter (as many of you prob remember!), but I've donated to Obama's campaign, wearing a pin on my bag & planning to go campaign down in VA when I'm home this weekend and later in the month (will do what I can from NYC, but we're not exactly a swing state!) Every Hillary supporter I personally know feels the same way. The stakes are way too high & Hillary agrees!"

Note the bitter, hysterical part. Sexism in the trenches! But still, the point stands. Also:

"Well, obviously the best way to fight misogyny is to vote a misogynist into the presidency."

And:

"Did they miss the whole speech last night? Did they miss the parts about unity, getting behind Obama, and what John McCain is going to do to this country? How selfish, egotistical, and self-centered do you have to be to ignore the voice of THE WOMAN YOU VOTED FOR!!!!"

And:

"What message will the Democrats take away from [PUMAs] voting Republican? That they must continue moving further to the right!"

And:

"Sweet Jeebus, I hate the media. Notice that every single talking head picked up Bill Krystol's (repig editor of the Weekly Standard) talking point of how Hillary didn't "really" endorse Barack because she didn't specifically call him 'Commander-in-chief.'

She only said that your children and grandchildren's futures depend on voting for Barack. *sarcasm*

It's a no-win situation that the Democrats are in, damned if we do damned if we don't. Attack McCain and we're vicious unpatriotic assholes, try to actually talk about policy and we're boring, try to talk the future and we're a bunch of pussies for not attacking McCain. It's endless, if Hillary had been the nominee we would be hearing about Whitewater, how the Clinton's killed Vince Foster, Bill's other women, how the Obama people are not going to vote for Clinton.

If Obama had picked Hillary right now we would have been hearing how he was soooo weak that he had to have Clinton, how the rabid right is all geared up to vote against Hillary, how Hillary is the perfect example of the status quo and Barack sold out his message of change, IT'S NO WIN.

The media stands to lose BILLIONS if Obama gets to appoint the next FCC chair. 5 companies own our entire media, do you honestly believe that they want someone regulating their little monopolies?

It's not Obama vs McCain, it's Obama vs the media."

I think my biggest problem with the PUMA group is their narcissism. From an article on Boston.com:

Gloria Allred, the celebrity women's rights lawyer from Los Angeles and a Clinton delegate, told the crowd at the end of the march, "We will honor the voters who elected us." She then rattled off the names of women's rights leaders emblazoned on a scarf she wore around her neck: Harriet Tubman, Golda Meir, Abigail Adams, Susan B. Anthony.

Quoting Eleanor Roosevelt, she said, "Women are like tea bags; they never know how strong they are until they're in hot water."

But later, Allred fiercely insisted that women who supported Clinton must vote for Obama in November because, at the very least, of abortion rights. Obama supports abortion rights, while McCain favors overturning Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, and working to eventually end abortions. "We have to educate these women who are disappointed Hillary didn't win," Allred said. "We have to help them to understand what's at stake. We can't have McCain appointing two Supreme Court vacancies."

Not all the women in the crowd were buying this argument. Many were older women who remember an America where abortion rights were not guaranteed - but are also at an age when those rights may not be as relevant to their lives.

"I'm not pregnant," said Jeannie Stratton, 51, from Washington who said she plans to vote for McCain to protest how the Democratic Party treated Clinton.

Oh, okay. Since YOU can't get pregnant anymore, giving this election away to make a point is clearly the better option. Fuck all those young women out there who might not be so lucky.

Also, not to sound like MEL GIBSON (in Conspiracy Theory, not in his regular anti-semitic everyday life!), but there's reason to believe that these women are just Republican plants. One of the founders of Clinton4McCain has donated to the Dole and Bush campaigns in the past. The same goes for PUMA. One of its founders is a long-term McCain supporter, having donated to his 2000 campaign, yet mysteriously never to Clinton.

Honestly, to me this is more believable than one logically making the switch from Hillary Clinton, pro-choice, pro-gender equality and pro-universal healthcare, to John McCain, anti-choice, anti-equal pay for women, pro-war, pro-big business, and pro-not-knowing-how many-houses-you-own-while-calling-the-other-guy-an-elitist.

This is the latest e-mail I sent to my friend, which basically "sums" up my thoughts (in many, many words):

Sorry, I didn't mean to bombard you with e-mails, but I've been thinking about this election a lot and I'm getting pretty fired up about it from reading all my lady blogs. I comprehend the rationale behind "sitting this election out" (though NEVER voting for McCain instead of Obama), but I still can't UNDERSTAND or get behind it because I find it to come from a very...privileged place.

This was a comment on Jezebel today which I think you can agree with (except the McCain part):

"I wanted to address the issue of voting for McCain because it doesn't make sense to many of you, and I can only speak for myself. I don't like McCain, but I will vote for him in protest of the Democratic party for not running a woman at all because it is my revolt against them. I know that McCain's policies are worse for women, but that is the sacrifice that I am willing to make. Sometimes, things have to get worse before they get better. If I can survive Bush for 8 years, I can survive McCain. I want the democratic party to realize that they are nothing without the woman's vote and not just roll over and be happy with what they give us and continue to treat women like second class citizens."

The key word in this above paragraph being "I". "I can survive this." The PUMAs are being lobbed as narcissists because the way they are looking at this election makes them sound like narcissists. "Throwing" this election doesn't mean much to them, the symbolism outweighs any effects electing McCain will have on them. Because they aren't the ones who are going to be badly affected by McCains policies. But why can't they think of others who will be?

These PUMAs are coming from a position of privilege where, despite having to deal with terrible sexism their whole lives (for that, I have the utmost regret, as well as respect for overcoming it), they won't be affected personally should Roe v. Wade be overturned, extremely conservative Supreme Court justices be elected, or whatever. They are not of childbearing age and reproductive rights aren't at the top of their agenda. They should be. Because women will always be second class citizens if they do not have full bodily autonomy. The reason reproductive rights is my "single issue" is because it is so fundamental. These PUMAs don't seem to think of who their actions will affect. Not the Democrats. Not the Republicans. What is ironic is that the ones that will suffer most are the ones they're supposedly trying to fight for: women. Those women who come from a poor background and can't afford to skirt abortion laws by traveling out of state/country, who need equal access to contraception and abortion services, and who want equal pay as well. These are the ones who are going to be hit the hardest by McCain being president, not the Democratic party.

I told my dad about the whole PUMA thing and that they were trying to make a point. He said, "But at what cost?" My dad is not the nicest man personally, but, as a fellow bleeding hearted liberal, his ideas about politics and human rights are very considerate. He doesn't have a personal stake in women's reproductive rights, or gay rights, or any of that, but his morality is such that he values personal freedom as a concept so much that he takes defending these issues to heart.

You don't have a daughter, but you can surely sympathize with young women my age. In Hillary's DNC speech, she talked about how the policies of the past have affected our mothers and daughters and that we should choose someone with our children (or future children) in mind. Protesting this election seems so short-sighted to me because it ignores the mess it will create for future generations. It's not going to help the Democratic party. It's going to divide it further and render any Democratic leadership impossible. Our country is backwards enough and splintering the party is going to make things so much worse. By ignoring the fact that their actions will hurt others in need, these PUMAs, though they say they have a greater purpose, are acting rather selfish. In fact, they're acting like Republicans.

x
allison

{any unattributed quotes are from Jezebel}

online shopping in minneapolis.



Despite being thisclose to having a panic attack in the Minneapolis airport, I still managed to find time to purchase this cute bangle from Pixie Market.

omgz the internet!!!!

So...I'm dumb. It took me four days to get the internet in my friend's apartment. But I'm back!

Expect 23423534634 posts in the next few days.

Monday, August 25, 2008

what the fuck?

I never thought I'd hear McCain introduce Daddy Yankee.

portland, here i come!



I'm terrified.

{image from here.}

Saturday, August 23, 2008

made in the dark.









Today is my second-to-last day with Ichi before I go to Portland for three weeks. I know that when I come back, he'll be much, much bigger. I also know that he probably won't remember me. I don't think it will matter much in the long run as he's affectionate and friendly with everyone, but I liked having him see me as the person to meow at when hungry and hide behind when scared. But he's in good hands while I'm gone. I just hope he doesn't develop any abandonment issues...they're wretched.

i went to a zoo today and the only thing there was a dog

...it was a pretty shih tzu.

AH-HA-HA-HA-HA!



Preschoolers have to be the best audience EVER.

Friday, August 22, 2008

a place for my stuff.

Since I leave for Portland on Monday, I've been trying to work out how to travel with all my fragile technology. I have to bring my D80, some lenses, my Macbook Pro and all those cords to go along with said camera and laptop. No iPod though, so I plan on reading several books on the plane and need to work out how to carry all those as well! Oh, AND a bunch of delicate resumes I need to keep pristine for when I go job hunting in town. Thinking about how to pack all this stuff makes my head hurt, and I already have enough social/general/travel anxiety as it is. Every time I fly I'm convinced something terrible will happen and we'll all hurtle Final Destination-style towards the earth. I'm not afraid of terrorists, just malfunction.

Last time I went to Portland, for a mere seven days, all I brought was a small duffel bag and a large suitcase. I could barely drag them down the street from my friend's apartment to the lightrail, so I'm terrified of being physically unable to carry 3-weeks-worth of things. I'm also a notorious over-packer because I want to be prepared for every possible scenario.



So I was looking for a laptop+camera bag that was big enough to hold my stuff but not dorky or overpriced. I finally found and bought this LeSportSac Lexie Tech tote from ShopBop last week and expected it to be perfect. Doesn't it look small, cute and minimalist? Well, it's not. It is much, MUCH bigger in person than I expected. All my stuff fits, but I look ridiculous carrying such a huge purse-like bag. I guess on the plane it works, but walking a quarter of a mile from my friend's apartment to the nearest cafe for wireless internet is going to make me look like a crazy person.

This is how I look holding the bag, but less pretty (and hopefully more stylish. Equally crazy.):



I like the caption, ha!

For when I get back, I bought this Stella McCartney for LeSportSac "everyday tote" in "posh colorblock". According to the dimensions, it'll be a tight fit with my laptop, but I'm hoping they're lying. After all, the description for the bag above didn't mention the fact that it could comfortably fit a miniature poodle (or Mary-Kate) inside along with all of my things. Oh, and right now all the Stella stuff is 50% off with the code "Stella50" at checkout. Random luck!



As far as my reading is concerned, I have seven books to read and a handful more I'm tempted to buy before I leave. So far, I've got:

"Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster" by Dana Thomas
"Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Death of the American Dream" by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck
"The Betterphoto Guide to Digital Photography" by Jim Miotke
"Complete Digital Photography" by Ben Long
"Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins (which is way outside my comfort zone but comes highly recommended by the smartest woman I know)
"Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time" by Rob Sheffield
and last but not least, I need to finish "Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media" by Susan Douglas

I'm also dying to read "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" by the inimitable Naomi Klein, who also authored one of my favorites, "No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs". And I will gladly take any other reading suggestions.

My problem is I love reading so much that I fall into patterns where I try to tackle too much at once, get overwhelmed and then steer clear of books for months. One thing at a time, Allison. One thing at a time.

even more reason to hate jill stanek.

She thinks domestic abuse against women who have had abortions is a-okay:

From "Media cite anti-abortion activist and Obama critic Jill Stanek as though she's credible":

In an March 1, 2007, WorldNetDaily column, during a discussion of a scene in the film The Godfather: Part II in which Al Pacino's character hits his wife after she told him she aborted their child, Stanek wrote: "That spontaneous slap was the reaction of a real man who a woman had just told she aborted his baby. Compare that to the modern day cowardly male response, 'It's your choice. Whatever you decide, I'll support you.' "

{via MediaMatters}

this is why i love dogs.



"A newborn baby abandoned outdoors in winter by her 14-year-old mother was found safe in a dog pen with a mother dog and her brood of puppies near the city of La Plata, Argentine media reported on Friday."

from "Abandoned baby found safe with dog"

Related: "Living with humans has taught dogs morals, say scientists"

{story via Jezebel, image via bovzou's flickr}

the finest line.

I was lusting over Current/Elliott's entire denim collection, which I've written about before, when it struck me how delicate the balance between stylish and tacky is with denim dresses. Let me illustrate:

GOOD







BAD









What is it that makes such a difference: good tailoring? Simplicity? At the very least, we can probably all agree that getting married in denim is a bad start.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

psssst...

Expect a slew of outfit pictures soon. My Australian friend mistakenly took my camera battery charger back with him to Australia and I finally need it. I just gave in and ordered another one because he sent it cheaply (read: very slowly) and I leave for Portland on Monday!

some psa's i can get behind.

It's no secret that I love NPR (which stands for National Public Radio, you silly philistine!). Unlike the rest of talk radio, they are both objective and eclectic, and though they supposedly don't have a partisan bias, my little liberal heart could not love them more if I tried.

My favorite show is their news round up, All Things Considered, which, true to name, really considers ALL things.

Today, All Things Considered ran these two interesting stories one after the other, which you can listen to (and read transcripts of) for free online at www.npr.org.

1. "Computing On The Cloud: Who Owns Your Files?"

I don't know about you, but I'm all about social networking/online file sharing websites (known as cloud computing). Flickr, Gmail, Twitter, Myspace, Facebook; you name it, I love it. The idea that you can put your files online to be accessed from anywhere in the world is so practical that some laptops are now being designed to RELY on this practice by having tiny hard drives. Unfortunately, people (myself included) fail to understand the limits of their rights to these files (user agreements are long and boring). According to this story, if a company like Google is told that you have posted some kind of file that violates the law (copyright or other), they have the freedom to delete your account WITHOUT PROOF, which is much easier than doing any kind of investigation. Facebook also has the right to distribute all of your private information to the public. Kind of scary, right?

I'm not saying we shouldn't use these innovative online applications. But after hearing this story, I can only further emphasize the importance of backing up your important files, either on an external hard drive or your own computer. Don't I sound like a very tech-savvy nagging parent?

2. "Condom A Capella Ringtone Fights HIV In India"

In sharp contrast to the evil that is Jill Stanek, the BBC World Service Trust is trying to fight the spread of HIV in India by PROMOTING condom usage. Through a free ring tone! Who knows if it will work, but the song is catchy (and has been downloaded by .02% of the cell phone uses in India, which is actually a huge number) and the promotion of condom use is at least way better than the counterproductive message that condoms are evil. Listen here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More on what a horrible person Jill Stanek is.

From a comment on Pandagon,

"I hate Jill Stanek with the power of a thousand suns. I posted a comment about my own pregnancy crisis on a blog once- I was five months pregnant when we discovered that my son could not survive outside of the womb. He had no kidneys, underdeveloped lungs, a hole in his heart, fluid on his brain and half of his internal organs were outside of his body because his abdominal wall didn’t close properly. We were told that no matter what, we had a half hour with him tops. So we chose to induce labor when I was 27 weeks pregnant because I was such a mess, because carrying a fetus that was going to die was the single worst thing I’ve ever done. I was continually leaving work early because I would feel sick, I wasn’t eating, I was barely able to take care of myself and that translated to being barely able to take care of my 14 month old daughter. We induced labor and it was horrible, but I got to hold my son for a half hour before he passed away and then I got to start putting the pieces back together. I grieved, and I still grieve, but I was able to start the process of moving forward. 4 months later, I got pregnant again and delivered a happy, healthy baby boy about a year after my first son passed away. I shared this on a blog and fucking Jill Stanek took my comment and wrote a post about how I aborted my handicapped child and what a horrible person I was. Sigh. It was the worst time of my life, my husband and I chose the best possible option for us out of several shitty options (because lets face it, when your fetus is not able to live outside of you for more than 30 minutes, all of your options pretty much suck) and then moved on with our lives, while still grieving for the child we lost. Clearly we are evil, evil child murderers. It would’ve been so much better for him to spend another 3 months being beaten by my uterus due to my lack of amniotic fluid then to die peacefully in my arms. She makes me ill."

he just can't win, can he?

Poor Obama. Either he doesn't hate babies enough or he hates them too much. Which is it, Barack? TAKE A STAND!

From "Obama faces new criticism on abortion":

Hillary Rodham Clinton argued during the primary that Obama hadn't been vocal enough in his opposition to this and other abortion legislation, and questioned his commitment to protecting women's access to abortion.

Abortion opponents say Obama's position amounts to an endorsement of killing babies, and that he has lied about it.

"Barack Obama is so radically pro-abortion he supports infanticide," Jill Stanek, an Illinois nurse and anti-abortion activist, wrote on her Web site.

The legislation in question is a thinly veiled attempt by the right wing to start the slippery slope to banning abortion. What it pretends to deal with, mandatory medical treatment of fetuses/babies that survive an abortion attempt, is already the law.

And in case you forgot, Jill Stanek is the one who wrote that Chinese people eat aborted fetuses on her blog. Like I said, she must have confused that Chinese horror flick Dumplings with a Frontline special. Right now Stanek is spending her time raising money to provide billboards to Tanzania, a country ravaged by AIDS, that say "Faithful condom users die".



Related: "Right Wing Smears and Lies"

{via Jezebel}

studding.



Have you ever seen something that caught your eye but not enough to purchase, then months later, you went back to it only to be smitten? That's kind of how I've felt with past boyfriends.

Anyway, these studded ballet slippers from Bona Drag have always been cute, but since realizing I wanted a pair of wholly impractical dance attire, I went back to them and suddenly had a "THESE ARE AMAZING!" type of reaction.

People who say advertising doesn't work have obviously never met me. As long as you drill something into my head long enough, I'll eventually come around. Case in point: six months ago, I had ZERO interest in studs.

...Now, I'm at a sorry point where I went into Hot Topic the other day and was actually wowed by their stuff (they put studs on EVERYTHING!).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

rabble rabble rabble.



I have a question for you all: do you enjoy the rambly nature of this blog? My entire life I've had a problem with succinctness. With being concise. See? I said the same thing twice. Once I wrote a 15-page paper in elementary school and my teacher told me she fell asleep reading it because it was so long. I think, if I become a journalist, my editor will have his or her hands full cropping my stories to their maximum length. Even in college, I never had a problem meeting page minimums...I had a problem going over page MAXIMUMS. I could never have Twitter for this reason. What's the character limit, 150? Egads.

It's not that I have lots of different things to say, really. It's that I like to think all my ways of explaining a singular point help illuminate it a little better. But too often, people get bored.

SO WHAT I MEAN IS THIS: Does the length of my posts detract from them? Do you want more short and snappy summaries? More pictures? More outfit posts? More politics? More...puppies?

Let me know. In the comments or in my email. acintins@gmail.com. Oh, and let me know if you want to be on my blogroll as well!

chain gang.





Whether or not Erin Wasson's upcoming jewelry line, Low Luv (top picture), is a rip off of indie designer Bliss Lau's (bottom picture), the pieces supposedly start at $1200 each. Um, why? I know the revelation that "fashion is overpriced!" is about as groundbreaking as the sky being blue, but I still don't understand the price on these things. How did $1200 become the STARTING price for a bunch of interlocking chains?

Look, I realize art is expensive, creativity is a pricey commodity, and that when supply is low and demand is high, prices go up. But $1200? Why is it that some pieces are insanely overpriced beyond their worth? Is it because, with a name like Erin Wasson ("She's so cool! She was Alexander Wang's MUSE!"), people will inevitably buy her stuff, no matter the cost?

If something is made very well, from fine materials, or just extremely original, I have no problem paying a relatively high cost for it (within reason). I like independent designers more than fashion's big players and I realize that with such a small production team (often of one!), they have to charge high prices to cover costs and still make a profit. Spending a fair bit of money on a few solid pieces, quality over quantity, is something that both Tim Gunn and I subscribe to. But what about those expensive, mass-produced, nothing special items that carry a designer label but were probably made at the cost of pennies?

I often think about this with some of my own overindulgent, less spectacular pieces I've purchased. I bought an ADAM by Adam Lippes dress for well over $400 (it was for my college graduation and I was feeling impulsive), and it was still manufactured in China. For that price, I'd expect Mr. Lippes himself to have handcrafted it while his assistant circled him and the dress with a sage stick for good measure. Adam Lippes isn't very well-known, the dress wasn't THAT amazing, and it was produced en masse by people in China. And still, priced at $400, which is insane but actually quite measley in the world of fashion? To give you some perspective, Moschino's Cheap and Chic line barely STARTS at $400.

As I've mentioned before, high prices don't guarantee that the workers are paid fairly. And as far as quality? I've felt my share of designer pieces while perusing Neiman Marcus: some of them are impeccable, others feel like the stuff at H&M. By the way, if you ever want to feel poor, ask someone in Neiman Marcus for help finding something!

Anyway, Erin's line looks to be a bunch of interlocking chains, which is interesting (though Bliss's are cuter and actually priced -- relatively -- within reason, starting at $200). But uh...Lulu made the same thing for about $9 with supplies from Home Depot. See?



So, are designers just egomaniacs? Greedy? Appealing to an upper class elite I can't even begin to understand? What do you think about the lofty prices?

As for me, I'm feeling like a hypocrite, because an item's subjective worth is in the eye of the beholder. Alexander Wang's amazing dresses, at $700, are disgustingly expensive but still covetable, and I'd pay that much if I could afford it (as I kicked myself for being a sucker). If I didn't like his designs, I'd think he was an asshole, just like all those other designers who charge the same but don't appeal to my aesthetic. And if there are those who actually like Roberto Cavalli, someone, somewhere, has GOT to think Alexander Wang's designs are ugly.

Related: "Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster"

a legit reason to hate Forever 21.



I know my constant ragging on Fashionista is ruining my chances of ever working at Nylon (meh...I didn't really have a chance in the first place and they've gone downhill, anyway), but here's a REAL reason to hate Forever 21 (besides that unnecessary Bible reference at the bottom of their bags):

They are building on the former site of a community garden in Los Angeles with a 20-year history of importance to the local Latino population, despite lots of opposition from the public.

According to Jess H. of Feministe, it "turns out the former site of the South Central Farm - where low-income, indigenous/immigrant Latino farmers grew food in the midst of a toxic industrial area for 14 years before being evicted two summers ago in one of the saddest, most maddening examples of private business interests trumping community and environmental good that I’ve ever personally witnessed - is being developed as a Forever 21 warehouse."

A warehouse? Seriously?

And according to the LA Times, "[Mayor] Villaraigosa, who championed the farm's preservation two years ago, is staying out of the latest fight.

"He has received nearly $1.3 million in contributions and commitments from Forever 21 and its executives over the past two years for initiatives ranging from tree plantings to his own reelection campaign."

I guess I'm not surprised. Of all the corrupt cities, LA is one of the worst. Read more here.

(By the way, isn't it funny that though it's been in the news for at least a week, Fashionista has made no mention of this story, despite its potential usefulness to their mission to degrade Forever 21 shoppers? Why no mention? Because they don't care about poor people! I keed. ...Sort of.)

{via Feministe, image via the LA Times}

bag lust.



As much as I love Chanel bags, they're both out of my price range and a little too ubiquitous for my taste. The 2.55 in itself is very classic and very pretty, but it's so well-known that it screams "status symbol" despite having a modest design. Don't even get me started on anything with those huge interlocking C's. Tsk tsk. I expect better from you, Chanel!

With that being said, does it make me a hypocrite to admit I am seriously coveting this vintage Chanel purse? It's just so lovely! It's one of those bags I'd probably wear every day for the rest of my life if I could. How do people afford multiple designer purses? How do people afford multiple designer ANYTHING?

(I know it's in such poor taste to ask and frankly none of our business, but aren't you dying to know how these young fashion bloggers afford all their stuff?)

{via Modern Guilt}

everybody cut footloose.







Um, I just found the most adorable new stylish girl to internet stalk. Thank god she's making it easy: she has a blog, a flickr, AND an etsy! Oh, and a kid too (I'm assuming). I love real-life hot mommies. This is how I want to dress all the time.

(Is it gross that now I want a pair of real ballet slippers to wear? Amy Winehouse wearing them for months at a time looked unsanitary, but this girl makes them look quaint!)

{via Painfully Hip}

clouded leopard.



How do you all feel about these Neurotica thigh highs from pixie market? They're sold out now, but I nabbed a pair just in time. Now I'm not sure how to wear them or if I even like them, for that matter. I'm so glad the model is giving me some styling suggestions with her black underwear/no pants ensemble. I'm gonna try that first!