Category Archives: Life

Local Casting Call Doesn’t Even Give the Lone Female Character a Name

I stumbled upon this casting call being shared from one friend to another on Facebook.

The casting call is for a film called In My Skin which says it will “will stay clear from gay cinema stereotypes. It will be a gay noir. “. Great. It’s going to stay away from “gay cinema stereotypes”, I’m all for that. Unfortunately it is not staying away from sexist cinema tropes.

There are 5 “Key Characters,” 4 high school boys whose descriptions range from a paragraph to one sentence. Then there is the “Girlfriend.” The only female character, and the only character they couldn’t bother to come up with a name for. It’s not like she is unimportant, her description is longer than one of the male characters, she just doesn’t get a name.

What’s unfortunate here is that this will probably be written off because no one says her name in the script, or she’s just in one scene, etc. But what happens when you don’t give a character a name is that the are not a person with traits, they are an object. Here, Girlfriend is not a character but a prop.

How hard is it to just put some thought into the only female character? The author probably knows a bunch of women’s names ze could have chosen from, but instead chose not to.

 

p.s. I know it’s been a while, stay tuned for a post full of excuses.

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Oops!

You probably (haven’t) noticed but I didn’t make anything to post this week. Oops!

That is because I have been busy learning to take care of twin babies. My boss had twins 3 months ago and now she unfortunately has to go back to work. I, on the other hand, am still only working weekends until the middle of June. So for 3 days of the week I’m twin-sitting most of the day.

I have been thinking about how much blogging I’m going to be able to do once I start working full time again and now I think I’ll get to ease into figuring that out.

One of the things I find frustrating in my life right now (one of very few things, I’m very lucky) is that I feel like I’m living in two places. I live at home, where all of my things are. And I spend a few nights a week at Ryan’s, where I have to plan ahead if I want to have my things with me. I find it hard to get a lot done when i’m shuffling between hanging out there, working, and being home. I think to solve some of this I’m going to start bringing my camera with me more places so I can take pictures and have something to blog about.

One day I’ll just live one place and be able to come home after work and do things, eat, sleep, and repeat.

Until then, and to make up for not making anything this week I’m going to make a list of the things I’d like to do this summer. So, if you get these posts in e-mails, I’m sorry to send you two in one day, and if you came here on your own- thank you and please check back later to see the list!

Love, Love.

A four year old girl, sitting on my lap during snack time, was musing to herself, “Love, love,” she said “love for things, love for people.”

It was clear she was thinking about the difference between these two kinds of loves and it sounds corny, but it was beautiful to hear this (adorable) 4 year old thinking that way. There are no shortages of “little kids are wise beyond their years” stories, but it is always striking when there is a little person who is one minute a philosopher and the next minute whining because no one is helping her with her fuse beads.

 

 

Instagram Pic(k)s

I rock the non smart phone/iPod touch combination. I have and enjoy Instagram but probably don’t use it as often as I would if I had an iPhone. Oh well! Here are some recent pictures from my Instagram that I’ve picked to show you.

This is a ring necked pheasant spotted outside of Ryan’s house. It’s fun to see a bird you don’t see every day.

The milk house and my backyard. I’ll never get sick of looking at it.

I downloaded an app called Picstitch where you can make a little collage of photos and upload it right to instagram. This one is all about my dogs!

This is my lovey dovey picstitch about Ryan and I. We’re adorable.

My instagram name is Lightningleslie if you want to follow me!

Walking the Dogs

It got cold again! What’s that about? I suppose it was just normal March weather, but it seemed freezing after those 70 degree days we’d had. Before it snowed a little this weekend, Larissa and I took our dogs for a walk on the local Rail Trail.

Above are Larissa and Daisy. Daisy is a little ball of energy, and very sweet. We’ve tried to get her and Wendy & Simcha (my doggies) to be friends before when Larissa would bring Daisy over. It sort of worked, but Simcha would hide and  Daisy and Wendy would either ignore each other or just not be able to calm down.

We decided neutral ground would be better, so I brought Wendy along (I didn’t think Simcha and Wendy could handle it together). It worked, mostly in that Wendy & Daisy ignored each other 90% of the time. They did get to see a horse though, which was pretty exciting!

Wendy was a very good girl and by the end of our nice long walk her tongue was about a mile out of her mouth.

Wild Olive Stitch Swap!

I haven’t mentioned yet, but I’m taking part in the Wild Olive Stitch Swap!

I sent out my piece last week (but forgot to take a picture first, as I often do in swaps, oops!) and received a beautiful piece from my other partner on Tuesday!

I love the design that she chose to stitch for me, a little bird with a cage with a button on top! I love it!! She was sweet enough to also send along some really pretty thread, a great Burts Bee’s chapstick, and some yummy chocolate as well as a lovely postcard.

I love doing swaps because you get to connect to people all over the world. My piece came from Arizona and I sent my work to Australia! It’s always cool filling out the customs form, I don’t know why but I think it’s such a novelty.

This March has a 5th Friday coming up, so if I’m lucky there will be another Phat Quarter swap coming up!

The Hunger Games- The Movie

Before I get into spoilers I’d have to say my overall feelings on the first “Hunger Games” movie is that I was underwhelmed. The books were so full and rich and the movie felt fairly empty. It was about 2.5 hours, so I understand that they can’t make a 7 hour long movie and that you lose some content when you switch from 1st person to 3rd person.

However, I feel like everything they left out created a greater emphasis on the romance than the revolution. All the things I really miss, plot wise, are things that lead to a more complete picture of the desperation in the Districts and of the situation everyone involved is in.

I debated making this list of things I really noticed were wrong, because it seems nit-picky, but like I said, the details create a rich picture you are missing without them.

There are absolutely going to be spoilers beyond this point- if you don’t want to read them you can scroll until you see the “no more spoilers” graphic.

These are sort of in order, but not really.

– We didn’t get a very full picture of just how poor District 12 is, or the relationship Katniss & Gale have to their District, specifically how big a role they play in the Hob, and how they know what special things certain people like (the mayor and his fruit, for example.)

– This leads to the fact that Katniss found the pin at the Hob and was not given it by the mayor’s daughter, Madge.

-I also didn’t like that Cinna put the mockingjay pin on her like it had to be a secret. The tributes were allowed to have a token, that was hers and it was visible, not hidden.

– There is no mention of the tesserae- a program where citizens can trade having their name entered an extra time in the drawing to be a tribute in exchange for a years worth of grain and oil for their family. This is why Katniss and Gale have their names in there so many times. They mention that Gale has his name in 42 times, but not why. One or two more lines of dialogue could have explained that and furthered the audience’s understanding of the situation in the Districts.

– They don’t mention that Katniss’s mother is a healer. Again, one line of dialogue while Katniss tends to Peeta’s wounds or sickness would have cleared this up.

– Haymitch isn’t drunk and grumpy enough. Also, those little notes in the parachutes? The Capitol would see those and be on to their game even faster.

-Those cuts to Gale when Katniss & Peeta kiss? UGH, gross. I don’t think it’s important we think about Gale at this juncture, because Katniss isn’t and it’s not because she’s cruel, it’s because she’s concerned with survival not romance.

– Rue get no backstory! This makes me very unhappy. Her climbing/ tree hopping skills are because of her work in the fruit trees, so is her song with the mockingjays. Rue says something like “we used to sing this song in my district” to explain it, why couldn’t she just have said “we sang this song to signal the end of the work day in my district.” BAM! Backstory! BAM! A fuller and richer picture of the character and her district.

– When Katniss and Rue are in the trees with the other tributes below them Rue is supposed to point out the trackerjacker nest to warn Katniss and I’m pretty sure Katniss decides to drop it on her own and warns Rue of that. A trade that creates a trust between them.

– Rue and Katniss scheme to destroy the food the Careers have stockpiled because they don’t know how to survive without it. They don’t include this information and I suppose it is implied but I think it could have been more clear.

-Katniss whistles the mockingjay song in the movie, while in the book she sings. Her father sang and when he did the mockingjays would stop and sing his song, and her voice gets the same reaction.

-The hanging tree song is very important to the book, and they almost entirely cut it out- they definitely cut out the parts that matter.

-The Riot in 11 doesn’t start until Katniss and Peeta are on tour in the districts. They send her bread though, as a thank you. So when she is there and thanks them for the bread that is when they riot, and she sees the man killed and it is a profound moment for her.

– Snow said some things to Seneca that I’m pretty sure he is supposed to have said to Katniss later. This seems to me to be an erasure of Katniss’s role in the revolution.

– I didn’t hate the way they chose to kill Seneca, it was a very poetic moment that conveyed the cruelty of snow and exactly why he was being killed. See, I don’t hate everything they changed!

-Hover crafts never came to take the dead tributes!

-They allude to the fact that the capitol cuts out peoples tongues but otherwise never mention the avoxes. They are there but for all the audience knows they have tongues and are just servants. This harsh brand of punishment is terrifying for Katniss, especially with the girl she recognizes.

-They don’t quite give the Capitol the “Big Brother” feeling it had in the book. Katniss and Peeta speak freely in front of that window instead of sneaking to the roof. there is no feeling that you really need to watch what you say at all times.

– The relationship between Peeta and Katniss isn’t as complicated as in the book.

– I don’t remember Cato saying all those things on the Cornucopia in the end, but I could be wrong. I know he definitely said if she shot him Peeta would go down too and that he begged for the mutt attack to be over when they got him.

– There is some unclearness about whether or not the mutts were really the dead tributes mutated or if The Capitol just used their eyes or made their eyes look like the tributes, or if it was just something Katniss imagined. This was left out of the movie. Again, one line on the cornucopia, “Peeta, their eyes, the other tributes.” It doesn’t even have to be a complete sentence or thought.

– Speaking of that end part… Isn’t Peeta supposed to lose a leg (hint: yes, he is.) He’s supposed to lose a leg and they are sucked back up by the hover craft after waiting and not knowing why they haven’t won yet (before they are told only one can win and get out the nightlock) and separated and it is a very traumatic event because Katniss doesn’t know if it’s because he’s dying or they’re being punished, or what.

There were some other things they changed or forgot that don’t seem as important to me (like how Cinna comes off kind of creepy in the movie and it’s supposed to be his idea that Katniss spin in the dress.)

Overall, like I mentioned before, I think they really erased a lot of the politics of the story. I have some theories about this that either sound very conspiracy theoryish or make a lot of sense, or both. It’s obviously about money and controlling the message, but I think erasing the revolution and distracting the audience with romance makes it seem like we’re seeing the story from the Capitol’s point of view, not Katniss’s.

I’d also like to say that I understand that this is a young adult (YA) series. But I think that the way YA novels can be full, rich stories that even adults can read and enjoy does not always translate to a movie that does the same (but this is a marketing thing, they could choose to market to a wider group than YA). For example a 13 year old may read the series and what sticks out to them is the romantic relationships and an adult may read it and what sticks out is the political aspect. With a movie you can pick one or the other, or both, but I feel like the focus was the romance.

I didn’t really touch on race here because I have a few links to articles that said everything I could have wanted to say much better than I would have.

Racist Hunger Games Fans are Very Disappointed– I am disgusted at the racism that has abounded from “fans” that were surprised Rue and Thresh are black. I’m unfortunately not surprised by how racist people are, but I am always disgusted by it.

A Character by Character Guide to Race in The Hunger Games– A great character by character guide with descriptions in the books versus appearance in the film.

Why Katniss Everdeen is a Woman of Color (and why it is important)- A really great one about why Katniss is not only a woman of color but why it is important to the story. If you take the stance of “race doesn’t matter” you need to read this, because it does.

The Sexual Politics of The Hunger Games– This is the article I send to people who either compare The Hunger Games to Twilight, or get annoyed about the comparisons. There are similarities, and that is okay, they are definitely not the same. Read this.

Capitol Control: The Irony of The Hunger Games Movie Mania– This is along the same theme of The Capitol having made the movie. An interesting read for sure.

Pinterest Vs. Anything Else.

Today I woke up to quite a few blog posts about deleting Pinterest because of its terrible Terms of Service. I am not a lawyer or especially good at translating the kind of language used in the TOS but this is what I’ve gathered from reading other blogs and the Pinterest TOS (found here).

The problem with the Pinterest TOS seems to be that by making content available on Pinterest (by pinning or re-pinning, I guess) you are agreeing that you have the legal right to grant their company rights to the “Member Content”. The rights you are giving them are as follows:

“By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services”

Really, what I think that means is they can basically use what you pin in any way they want on their website, application, or services.  That’s not so bad, and is probably even comparable to other websites where you upload content. It’s not so bad if it is your original content, anyway.

Pinterest basically runs off of sharing the cool stuff other people have done. That’s where these TOS are a problem. Most of the stuff being pinned is not owned by the person pinning it. And unless you’re checking to see that the original creator is okay with their stuff being pinned, you have a problem.

Much of the content on Pinterest does have a source linked to it, but a lot of it does not and that is problematic. Not only for whoever created the content, but for anyone who wants to track it down and learn more.

So, after figuring most of this out, I went onto my Pinterest account ad deleted some of my boards and moved the pins I could find sources for onto Clipix.com.

Clipix is a very similar site with a few main differences.

1) It is not nearly as popular, which means it is not nearly as social. This can be good or bad depending on how you see it.
2) You can make your “boards” private or for friends only. In this way it functions more like an online bookmarking site (I have been looking for a good online bookmarking site for weeks).
3) You can have Multiboards- which are nested clip boards. For example in my Weddings board I have a “dresses” board and a “decorations” board as well. This is a big draw for me because it is more like how web browsers organize their bookmarks.
4) Clipix puts a watermark on all the images on the site- they want you to use the site to bookmark something to get back to the original source.

I’m spending my morning moving my Pins and some of my bookmarks to Clipix, after that I probably will delete most of my Pinterest boards but not the account. If Pinterest changes its TOS I may start using it again, and until then I still have the right to decide to put my own work there for sharing.

International Anti-Street Harassment Week

This week is International Anti-Street Harassment week.

Often, street harassment takes the form of leering, honking, or shouting out at women, or making noises at them. The kind of behavior that make the perpetrators say “it’s a compliment” and the victims feel unsafe.

It’s not a compliment. It’s not okay, and it’s not just a little problem. Almost all women will face a form of street harassment in their lifetime, some women face it every day.

One of the biggest problems with street harassment is that it makes people feel unsafe and unable to do anything about it. This is part of a larger issue- that women’s bodies are seen as public property for others to touch, comment on, whistle at, etc.

This is an area where male allies can be especially helpful in feminism. A key example of using your privilege to help others is for men to stand up when they hear or see street harassment going on.

Keeping all of that in mind, here is a great video by a group in NYC who is standing up to street harassment.

And here is a link to the same video with subtitles. Shit Men Say To Men Who Say Shit to Women on the Street with subtitles.

How to: Gibson Tuck

I’m not going to pretend I’m amazing at doing hair. I don’t try and do anything super fancy with mine, mostly because my hair is not quite curly, not quite straight, frizzy, course, and thick. This makes it hard to style and I don’t like to spend much time on it otherwise I could blow dry it straight every day if I really wanted to. This is a nice and easy up-do that works well with all types of hair.

You need: hair, a ponytail holder, bobby pins, I used a spin-pin this time, but regular bobby pins work just fine.

Full disclosure: I had a hard time photographing myself doing this and as it is my first tutorial of this kind, please ignore the silly photography and my washed out skin (pale skin + direct sunlight = too bright!)

Step 1: Have hair. As long as you can get your hair into a ponytail this hairstyle should work for you.

Step 2: Put your hair into a ponytail.

Step 3: Loosen the ponytail away from your head just enough that you have space to dig out a little hole in the middle of the hair between the ponytail holder and your head.

Step 4: Twist the ponytail, you are preparing to put it in the hole you just made.

 Step 5: Tuck the twisted hair into the hole you made. This part may take some rial and error as you figure out how to position the hair so it doesn’t bulge out the back. After tucking the hair you want the ponytail holder to sit against your head.

Step 6: Take your bobby pins (or spin pin) and use them to attach the ponytail holder to the hair on your head. Your goal is to secure the tucked in ponytail to your head. This may take a few bobbypins or some trial and error but is not difficult.

 Ta da! As you can see here there is some hair poking out on the left side, but that was easily fixed with some poking and prodding.

Let me know if you need anything clarified or if you have success doing your hair this way!