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February 1st, 2009

09:34 am - Space Diamond
What do you want done with your body after you die?

I want to be cremated, my ashes processed into a diamond, and the diamond shot into space.

I want everyone to have forgotten the Pink Floyd song by that time.

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November 4th, 2008

09:39 pm - an early night

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October 24th, 2008

05:55 pm - Make your own Sea Kitten!

Create Your Own Sea Kitten at peta.org!

Note the water-wings.

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July 2nd, 2008

08:13 pm - undefinable whipped mint crap

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March 30th, 2008

01:07 am - I'm gonna make myself this shirt

Current Music: Kaki King

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March 22nd, 2008

08:48 am - Controversial Vogue Cover Actually Even More Controversial

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January 20th, 2008

12:43 pm - How to lose eight pounds in eight days
Return from Scotland on Saturday. Weight yourself. You weigh 144. Be slightly alarmed. You had allotted yourself five pounds' weight gain for your three weeks at your boyfriend's house, where your diet consists of crisps (chips), chips (fries), cheese (cheese), and butter. This number represents a weight gain of approximately ten pounds.

Put yourself on a calorie-restricted diet. Eat two pieces of toast for breakfast with apple and peanut butter. Eat a salad wrap for lunch. Make two gorgonzola, hazelnut, and pear pizzas for dinner and eat three pieces.

Weigh yourself on Monday. You weigh 140. Be slightly alarmed.

Go to the gym on Monday. Sit yourself down on one of the exercise bikes because all the elliptical trainers are full. Pedal for a while. Recall that you have just purchased Peggle for your ipod. Wonder if you can play it while exercising. Try. Lose track of time and pedal until you can remember to stop. Leave the gym sweating torrentially, with a full water bottle.

Weigh yourself on Tuesday. You weigh 139.

Look up Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength on Amazon. Look at it for a while. Open another tab and look at shoes. Debate whether Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength or shoes will bring you more happiness over the long run. Add Super Mario Galaxy to your cart. Debate whether the combination of Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength and Super Mario Galaxy or shoes will bring you more happiness over the long term. Recall that shoes can also be used for exercise. Buy shoes.

Weigh yourself on Thursday. You weigh 138.

Continue being on a calorie-restricted diet. Record your food intake on Fitday. Figure that you underestimate the portions you eat. Overestimate. Your calorie counts come to about 1100 a day. Be concerned. Examine yourself for signs of brain function shutting down. Feel perfectly healthy. Figure you are just not overestimating enough.

Weigh yourself on Saturday. You weigh 137.

Decline when your father offers you a piece of chocolate for dessert. When he says "You're so good," lecture him on the perils of equating eating habits with virtue. Do not reflect on how this impacts your vegetarianism. Have a banana instead.

Weigh yourself on Sunday. You weigh 137. Pee. You weigh 136.

Feel slightly faint.

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December 12th, 2007

09:17 pm

Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid is a fable about a young woman who leaves her home and family and traditions and "goes after strange flesh". In Andersen's tale, as in his era, her attempted romance ends in tragedy and death. The only possibility for her redemption is through the salvation offered by the Christian church.

The 1989 film, despite the studio's reputation for "Disneyfication", is a better artifact of its time than a more literal adaptation of its source would have been. In this age, a happy ending is possible for a woman in love outside her own culture. But she must take risks, including the risk of alienating her friends and family, and she must pay prices. And where Andersen's mermaid's love is chaste and spiritual, Ariel's romance is secular and sexual.

Ariel, named for an angel, and in Shakespeare, a spirit of the air, is a mermaid. She has the torso of a woman and the tail of a fish. She is not human, but a wholly other species. Mermaids are forbidden to consort with humans, who they consider dangerous and refer to as "fish-eaters". Ariel, however, keeps a collection of objects from the human world, which she associates strongly with romantic love. In the classical psychological sense, she is a fetishist. Consider, also, Ariel's song, Part of Your World:

I'm ready to know what the people know
Ask 'em my questions and get some answers
What's a fire and why does it--what's the word--burn?
When's it my turn?
Wouldn't I love, love to explore that shore up above?

Ariel's fascination with the surface world is built on an adolescent desire for sexual knowledge. But it is the desire for the stranger, the outsider, that causes her father to destroy her collection and attempt to prevent her from pursuing sexual knowledge. He is pleased enough when he believes she has fallen in love with a merman, but the revelation of her human love object drives him into a destructive rage. In an escalation of her formerly covert teenage rebellion, Ariel runs away from home and into her lover's arms.

Ariel's flight is facilitated by a seedy and manipulative intermediary, Ursula the Sea Witch. Ursula ensnares merfolk with outré desires, trapping them in bargains they cannot repay and literally trapping them in the form of polyps outside her house. In order to transgress the boundaries of her society, Ariel has to deal with a devil. The deal Ariel makes with the Sea Witch is that if in three days she can convince Prince Eric to give her "not just any kiss...the kiss of True Love", then she will become human. The condition is that Ariel will lose her voice--her distinction in mermaid society. In order to have the sexual consummation she seeks, Ariel must become an outcast, a voiceless nonperson. She agrees.

Typically for a dramatic narrative, it is her voice, and this quality alone, which would attract Eric to Ariel. This apparently simple twist bears further examination: Eric, the modern man, wants a woman with the ability to express her desires. The Sea Witch's song, Poor Unfortunate Souls, treats at length the former prevailing belief about women's speech:

You'll have your looks, your pretty face
And don't underestimate the importance of body language
The men up there don't like a lot of blabber
They think a girl who gossips is a bore
Up on land it's much preferred for ladies not to say a word
And after all, dear, what is idle prattle for?
Come on, they're not all that impressed with conversation
True gentlemen avoid it when they can
But they dote and swoon and fawn on a lady who's withdrawn
It's she who holds her tongue who gets her man.

Only through a long series of trials is Ariel able to regain her voice, and thereby Eric's attraction. The story ends with Ariel able to have her lover, join the community she adores, and secure her father's blessing. The captured polyps, symbolic of all the transgressors trapped by Ursula, are freed. The Little Mermaid, then, is not merely a descriptive account of the changes taking place in the realm of women's sexual autonomy post-second-wave feminism, but a prescriptive moral lesson for sexual deviants of all stripes and their friends and families.

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October 16th, 2007

11:00 pm
Heads up, y'all. I've come to speak truth to power. There is no innate biological difference between men and women that means that women won't enjoy porn. I'm specifically talking about the idea that "men are more visually stimulated" here. It's just not so. The only real evidence we have for this view is that until very recently, men were the vast majority of porn consumers in the West. Cross-cultural and historical patterns vary enough in terms of gender and consumption rates that the only thing we can definitively say is it's not biologically determined.

Now, it is the case that porn consumers are overwhelmingly male, while romance novel consumers are overwhelmingly female. The reasons for this are twofold. First, these consumption patterns spring from a specific cultural construction of sex: men always like it and always want it, women don't like it and don't want it. Male consumption of sex is thus more open and ostentatious, while female consumption is furtive. The second reason is that most visual porn is incredibly disrespectful to women. It's gauche to say and makes me sound like some Dworkinist, but it's so. Until women are seen as a giant potential market (which necessitates certain large-scale cultural changes already taking place), porn will alienate most women, and the possession of a large collection of porn will generally turn one's girlfriend off.

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September 17th, 2007

04:14 pm - I don't want to overhear people anymore
He: Well, do you want to be treated like a girl, or do you want to be treated equally?
She: A girl!
He: See?

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