Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Supermodel "Satire"

Satire: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

The Italian Vogue spread titled "Supermodels Enter Rehab" that includes the picture below would be satire if it were hanging in a gallery for us to discuss and contemplate. Instead, it's actually trying to sell clothes. The same clothes that indicate a certain type of lifestyle which is generally unattainable and/or destructive and is the whole reason that Britney, Lindsay, Nicole, Paris, and company are in the situations that are being satirized by this spread in the first place. That's not satire, that's sick.

View the full spread here. (Not 100% safe for work - lots of partial nudity) Thanks Feministing for the head's up.

For more on the whole helpless and sexualized female thing advertisers seem to think is wonderful (and someone must be buying into or else it would no longer be wonderful, i.e. profitable) see Dr. Diana.

And if you too are sick of hearing about the antics of all the celebutantes, check this out. MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski is my hero - in this video she's refusing to start the news out with the Paris Hilton getting out of jail story. Must see TV.

Shades of Gray

I'm pro-choice and I found this video fascinating. It's interviews with Pro-life folks asking simply, if abortion were illegal, what punishment should the woman who has one get?

People on both sides of the issue demonize the other side. This humanized the pro-life side for me, at least a little. I mean, not a single one said the woman should burn in hell and only one said a woman should go to jail (and she wavered on it based on circumstance). Although they are very often thinking in black and white when it comes to the fetus, there is obviously some gray thinking (or no thinking at all) when it comes to the woman. Obviously, these people should have thought a little more about this particular consequence of the outcome they hope for (i.e. abortion being illegal) but honestly, how much had I really thought about it myself?

This whole issue is just nuance after nuance and shades of gray. Interesting.

Here's a Newsweek article about it. A quick quote:

"The great thing about this video is that you can see the mental wheels turning as these people realize that they somehow have overlooked something central while they were slinging certainties."

Monday, July 30, 2007

Expert or Crack Addict?

At first I thought this article, Ten New Etiquette Tips for the Workplace, was an April Fools type list. I could have sworn there was going to be a punchline like, "Just kidding, do the exact opposite of what I just told you to do or else you'll pretty much be fired. Duh!" But no, this woman is serious. And as far as I can tell, if I did the following 6 out of the 10 "tips" I'd be packing my bags faster than a celebutante can get herself out of rehab.

1. Forget the exit interview.
2. Don't ask for time off, just take it.
3. Keep your headphones on at work.
5. Invite your CEO to be a friend on Facebook.
8. Don't blog under a pseudonym.
9. Call people on the weekend for work.

Informal poll: Do any of you work in a place where any combination of those would be acceptable?

Heed these three warnings

Unless you want a bunch of evil green monsters, or one cranky ass blogger, heed these 3 warnings:

For Gremlins:
Don't ever get him wet. Keep him away from bright light. And the most important thing, the one thing you must never forget: no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs . . . never, never feed him after midnight.

Rules for Sassy Pants:
Don't ever feed her shredded coconut (blech!). Make sure she has breakfast within 1.5 hours of waking up (or else she will get nauseous and possibly whiny). And the most important thing, the one thing you must never forget: no matter how much she cries, no matter how much she begs . . . never, never give her caffeine after 4pm (because she will get no sleep and the next day will end up composing cheesy posts on her blog comparing herself to Gremlins while trying desperately not to do a face plant into her keyboard).

Hitting Friendster Guy on the head this morning did not turn him into the snooze button like I planned.

Ow! I think I broke my face.

Friday, July 27, 2007

"Find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real."

I just met one of my lurkers. (Hi Professor K!) She's someone I don't know in "real life" who's read my blog through someone I do know, Michael J. Mike and I ran into each other on the street and he introduced us. This commenced a very strange and coded conversation that I'm sure confused the beejezus out of the fourth person in the group who had no idea what the heck was going on.

There's nothing like a stranger, in person, giving you kudos for posting your before photos on the internet to make you realize, "Oh crap, there are people I don't even know (yet) who have seen me practically naked* and, as if that weren't enough, have formed an opinion of me solely from my rantings and ravings on this here blog."

I suppose, however, there are worse things a person could use to form opinions of me. At least here, I have some control over what is out there. In fact, in "real life" I often sound more idiotic and inarticulate. I may, of course, sound like just as much a babbling fool here and I just don't know it. Such is life.

* Not to mention the group of students who saw me actually naked when I posed for the art class a few years ago.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tiny house, big life?

I have a thing for simplicity. I don't live by the rule necessarily, but I like the idea of it. I'm fascinated by people who give up "creature comforts" and the things the rest of us would probably have to have pried out of our cold dead hands before we gave them up. This video is about a woman with a house no bigger than the size of a parking lot (or my former single occupancy dorm room). She said in a Good Morning America video that she only keeps 300 things - and that includes her toothbrush and her car.

I wonder how many things I have? I probably have close to 300 in my bathroom alone. Not to mention my wardrobe, books, craft supplies, kitchen gadgets, etc.

It makes me feel guilty for the bumper stick I have that says "The best things in life aren't things." I believe it, but do I live it?

I feel a purge coming on.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The girls are just lining up to date him.

Bumper sticker on a truck I passed yesterday:

It would be too much to hope he's a dairy farmer, yes?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

HP doesn't mean Hewlett Packard anymore

Don't have a lot of time to blog right now, because I'm buried up to my neck in Harry Potter work.

I didn't get the book project until Monday because I had it delivered to work. Therefore, I'm behind and don't want to run into any spoilers evil colleagues before I'm done.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Thank goodness!

I lost the pound! Now to do it again this week.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention!"

I saw Sicko today.

sicko badge

It not only made me cry (several times), but it made me sick to my stomach. I just wanted to throw up. Seeing the avoidable hell that people (Americans) have to go through because of an illness or even a simple procedure just...I can't even express it. The fact that universal health care works in other parts of the world (England, Canada, France, Cuba!) and the population is healthier and happier while we (the U.S. health care industry) can't seem to get our heads out of our asses (or is that assets?) boggles the mind.

Go see it. Even if you hate Michael Moore, go see it. Go see it and tell me you aren't sickened. And frightened, and ready to move to Canada where the health care is free. (The credits even point you to a site to go to if you want to marry a Canadian for access to their health care program www.hook-a-canuck.com)

I'll tell you what, in the next election I'm paying close attention. I'm only supporting candidates who support universal health care and have a plan to move it forward. I've found a new soap box.

I can't imagine we live in a society where things like this happen. If you want to hear the trials and tribulations of a real person without health insurance who comes down with cancer, look no further than my sidebar - Lymphopo (formerly Granny gets a vibrator) tells it like it is and it ain't pretty.

Sorry to be such a downer, especially since you are probably seeing this Monday morning, but dear god, our system makes people into monsters. It demonizes the patients and sucks the soul out of the practioners. Speaking of soul sucking, dig yourself out of Harry Potter 7 and get thee to the movie theater!

Here's a collection of snippets from the movie spoken by Tony Benn, a former member of the British Parliament. I wish he could run for our presidency (or be my grandpa). He was so articulate and bright in this film.

"If you have the money to kill people, you have the money to help people." - Tony Benn

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I'm not crazy, I've got a parasite

Alternately titled, "Why evolution is so frickin' cool!"

Check out this New York times article. In short, "there may be a biological basis for the Cat Lady stereotype, the loopy, friendly neighbor who keeps dozens of cats."

And now, there is also an action figure. And if there's an action figure, coolness can't be too far behind.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Real women aren't blurry

THIS is why being a normal person sucks. There is no way one can live up to the airbrushed standards of what it means to be a woman (or for that matter a man) in the world when things like Photoshop exist. Exibit A: Faith Hill on the cover of Redbook -

Original image of the real Faith:

Check out the full article (and better pictures) at Jezebel here. And the fictionalized "thoughts" (1-11) going on in the brain of whoever did this to poor, lovely as is, Faith, here. At the first link, there's a picture that flashes between the original and the airbrushed pic and if you stare at any one part of Faith the changes start to look really freaky. Try staring at her forearm for a second or two. It's like she's an alien. *Shiver*

I agree with Jessica at Indexed on this one:

Hair-orist Alert Level - Orange and rising

It is highly disconcerting when you get a haircut, a significant one, and then right after it you chat with at least ten people you see on a regular basis and not a single one says boo about it, not even a generic, "Hey, you got a haircut!"

If I were paranoid, this would indicate to me they do not like it. If I were delusional, I would think they didn't notice the difference. Call me paranoid.

This morning I walked into work and my boss said, in a springy voice, "It's short!" and walked away.

WTF? *Snarl*

Eventually, someone who is a lover of short hair will come across my path and say something nice to me. I had an older guy do that to me in an elevator in Vegas once when I had this same haircut. He walked into the full elevator, looked around, saw me and said "Great hair!" almost as if it surprised him to be speaking out loud. And no, he was not gay. In fact, he said it right there in front of his significant other. So there.

The thing is, I like my hair like this. No, I love it. When I woke up and wandered groggy eyed into the bathroom this morning, the first thing I did NOT do was growl at my reflection, which my growing out hair had caused me to do for a while now. No, instead, I smiled at being reminded that I cut it. Yeah! I thought. And really, that's what it's all about - me liking myself when I look in the mirror.

I'll try not to think about all the people on What Not to Wear or spotted for Glamour Don'ts who similarly look at themselves in the mirror and think, "yup, I look smashing." At least none of my undergarments are showing.

But enough about me. How're you doing with the one pound weight loss this week? I think I've lost it (the pound, not my marbles, although those are on their way out the door too) but I haven't been near my scale at the right time to check it. I'll just keep plugging away and maybe I'll get an extra (good) surprise when I do weigh myself Sunday. My clothes all seem to be fitting more loosely. Fingers crossed.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Get bent!

Check out this site. Very cool artwork out of everyday objects and wire. Who knew a hot dog bun could have so much attitude?

This is the sister blog that has more adult content.

Thanks More Kisses Please for the heads up.

Please sir, can I 'ave some more?

Let's talk about food shall we? Since I've got at least 5 people joining me this week on my quest to lose just one pound, I know that we're all thinking about it, so let's just put it right out there.

Food. It rocks. I like to eat it. I like to think of what I will be eating next -sometimes while eating the food currently in front of me. When I was growing up, my sister was always that bizarre person who would forget to eat meals. She also literally weighed 100 pounds at 5'5". Me? I'd forget I'd already eaten and eat again. You know, just in case. This is, of course, why I was always the heavy sister. (Until recently anyway. Popping out a couple of kids has changed my sister's figure dramatically.) I believe the word my kid brother used to describe me was "plumpish."

Oh how I loved being the nerd in a house of dancers. Of course now that they've grown up and stopped taking or teaching dance classes, my sister and brother both come to me for weight loss advice, or at least commiseration. I'll admit it, my motivation for weight loss is partly spite. How kick ass is it to be the skinny sibling for once? Very. Although I do feel their pain because they are living where I was in high school and college. Of course, they got to be skinny adolescents. But whatever. Enough about them, let's talk about me...and food.

I had a revelation yesterday when I did a quick run to the grocery store for breakfast food. (I had to start this week off on the right foot!) My revelation was this - My food spending habits are skewed. I realized that I was ok with spending $3.50 on a mocha latte that would last me about 20 minutes and pack a calorie wallop without providing any nutrients, but I wouldn't spend $5 on a half pint of raspberries that I love and are chock-a-block full of goodness.

I'm willing to spend more on crappy food I'll eat in an instant than I am on good for me food that may last several days (if I ration appropriately). This is good for me to know because now I can take appropriate action. I took the first step toward breaking that habit by purchasing those raspberries. I've already spread them out over two days and enjoyed every one. And since I know they are waiting for me at home, I have something to look forward to.

So, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go have my mid-morning snack of string cheesy and fantasize about lunch.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Positive Thinking

It's Sunday night and I've eaten out WAY too much this weekend without even attempting to counteract the calories with exercise. However, instead of berating myself, and thereby ending up at the bottom of a self-destructive spiral (and a pint of Ben & Jerry's), I'm going to take the bull by the horns and figure out what I can do now. Right now. The Denny's, the McDonald's, the Irish Pub, that's all in the past. Or at least in my colon.

Right now, I can vow to lose 1 pound this week. Just one. That's all I'm looking for. I weighed myself this morning and I'm at 135.8. As gowd is mah witness, by next Sunday, I will be 134.8.

Tomorrow night I'm going grocery shopping and stocking up on healthy foods. That's all there is to it.

Care to join me in this mini 7 DAY Challenge?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Long Distance Dedication

Dear Radio Station Owner [there is only one since everything has been consolidated into a conglomerate of media crapola],

Can you please explain to me why it is the habit of your radio stations to do lame ass talking in the morning instead of playing music? All I want to do on my way to work is be motivated to get where I'm going, preferably by some catchy music I can rock out to (like the song attached). The insipid chatter of your DJs does not make me excited to be alive listening to your station. In fact, it makes me push buttons in search of greener pastures, i.e. someone who will play me a song for the love of mocha. Is that so much to ask? I'm going to WORK people. I need all the inspiration I can get. Someone guessing the age of celebrities celebrating birthdays, or worse, a list of local people celebrating birthdays, only makes me want to remove my ears with kitchen shears and a melon baller. And I'm sure that would not be pleasant.

This is Sassy at WBGU. Thank you for listening.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Barista Barometer

Friendster Guy has this theory*.

After several tedious and frustrating encounters with service professionals on our way to Maine for vacation, FG explained to me the Barista Barometer.

This theory is that you can determine the state of the economy by the service you get at any place with a service counter - Starbucks, McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, movie theaters, etc...

When you are being waited on by someone really great - prompt, courteous, has their shit together, can count change without using their fingers - the economy is going down the toilet. These are educated individuals who are either working their way through grad school, or, more importantly for FG's theory, already have several perfectly good degrees but can find no other gainful employment than as a barista.

When you are being served by someone who you are pretty sure can't tie their own shoes in the morning, nevermind work a cash register, (and it's not because they are, what's the PC term these days? "special needs" - because at least those folks are friendly and hard working) then you know the economy is going great. If Starbucks has to scrape the bottom of the barrel because everyone else worth their weight in coffee beans is employed, well, make sure you're contributing to your 401K. You don't want to miss the wave of prosperity.

When we caught a news clip a few days into our vacation stating that unemployment was declining FG said, "We could have told them that a few days ago."
The Barista Barometer never fails.

* I don't know if it's his theory or one he heard about but it's a good one nonetheless.
[Update: FG has informed me the Barista Barometer was an NPR thing. And here I thought he was so clever all on his own.]

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Vidal Sassoon can kiss my big white heiny

I have a love/hate relationship with my hair.

It loves to torture me and I hate it.

My hair is super thin, super fine, and super straight. Except where it's not (super straight that is).
Right now, I'm trying to grow it out for no other reason than that's just what I do from time to time. But then it gets to a point where I say, with intense frustration, "$@# this!" and chop it all off. I believe, at its current length (i.e. in between any style of any kind) and with the current humidity, I'm this close to a meltdown. It's juuuust able to go behind my ears, but not all of it. The rest is kind of doing random flippy things that somehow manage to look cute on celebrities (with personal hair stylers) and on me looks like I had a bad accident with a flowbee and a curling iron.
I'm an inept hair styler, my head is too round for headbands, I'm missing the cleft on the back of my head that would hold any sort of bandana or cute elastic thingy (Seriously. I can put one of those on but it quickly leaps off the back of my head because it has nothing to hold on to), and my hair is so thin I have to use the kind of rubber bands they use to connect braces. You know, the ones kids would shoot at you from their mouths in junior high. I can wrap them three times around what counts as a pony tail. Of course, right now my hair isn't even long enough for that.

Oh, and I found 3 white hairs. Sigh...

I wish either baldness or indoor hat wearing was in vogue. I'd totally rock either look. Or both at the same time.

Of course then I'd just be forced to bitch about my double chin, and focus on my sucky wardrobe.

It's always something.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sister Suffragette Sing Along

No particular reason for this posting, except that I had this song in my head. Why? Goddess only knows.

I love the lyric, "Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they're rather stupid." Classic.

Summer reading, had me a blaast

So here I am, on the Tuesday after my vacation, desperately wishing I were independently wealthy and could just sit on a porch reading forever and ever. Or at least whenever the hell I felt like it. And since I'm sitting here wishing, I'd also appreciate it if John Cusack (from his Say Anything not Being John Malkovich days) would be my personal assistant/chef/maid/eye candy/ego stroker. My inner adolescent still pines for Lloyd Dobler. I'd probably have dropped trow, a la Diane Court, myself. Heck, I might still. But I digress...

Over vacation I read 8 books. EIGHT! And it wasn't because the weather sucked and I was stuck inside. It was just so nice to grab a book, start reading, and not either be interrupted or, worse, feel guilty about not doing something else I was supposed to be doing. Because there wasn't anything else to do. Except eat. And we all know I took breaks to do that. Although there were a few times Friendster Guy and I brought our food out to the porch and just kept right on reading.

The first thing we did when we got to the cabin was move a chair and a chaise together so we could both prop up our feet and sit for hours, feet/legs touching, not saying a word, lost in our own little worlds. Sometimes we'd go down to the beach and do the same thing. I did get antsy one day and went for a run but other than that (and a brief interruption when I realized the cabin had Bravo and there were Top Chef and Project Runway marathons on) we just read and read and read.

Here's the books I got through:
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom (I liked this more than I expected to. It's better and less schmaltzy than I thought it would be.)
One for the Money - Janet Evanovich
Two for the Dough - Janet Evanovich (she makes it real easy to know where you are in the series - 1, 2, 3...)
The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion
Playmates - Robert B. Parker (always entertaining)
Walking to Vermont - Christopher Wren (I've always had a secret longing to walk the Appalachian trail and have found narratives about it fascinating. At 65, this guy walked from Time Square, where he was a reporter/correspondent at the New York Time, to Vermont where he was retiring.)
The Sweet Potato Queen Field Guide to Men - Jill Conner Browne (this one had me laughing out loud and forcing FG to read passages.)
Running With Scissors - Augusten Burroughs (If you ever feel like your childhood was crazy and it's amazing you came out alive, read this book. Your family will look like the Brady Bunch.)

There you have it. All my summer reading condensed into one week. Anyone out there discover any books this summer I should try?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

TomAto TomAHto

Asinine conversation regarding annoying guy at restaurant:

Sassy Pants - Man, if I were that guy and I had to live with myself, I'd commit sudoku.

Friendster Guy - I think you mean seppuku.

Sassy Pants - Yeah. Seppuku. Whatever.

I'm baaack

And if I know what's good for me, I'd stay the heck off the computer as long as possible.

Which sounds like a good idea to me.

Talk to you tomorrow when I must tackle my email in-box at work. I'm sure that will inspire some blogging, if for no other reason than needing to do something not having to do with work.