Funny, This is Exactly The Opposite in what I Look For in a Man.

“Find out if your girlfriend is a feminist before you get too far into it. Some of them are pretty.They don’t all look like Bella Abzug.”

– Phyllis Schlafly warning young men not to date feminists.

Really though, if you just apply the opposite, you’ll be all set. If you make sure your prospective partner is a feminist before you “get too far into it” things will probably go much better.

Besides, Bella Abzug is pretty.

Click  the picture to learn more about her.

And check out this Blue Milk post filled with more important advice for dating feminists (I say that with sarcasm because the Blue Milk post is showcasing some of the disgusting advice you can find about dating feminists).

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!

Paint Chip Bunting

It was gorgeous out all last week so on Thursday I got to work and made some bunting to decorate my room. I really like how it turned out and I think it has a nice quality of looking “DIY” and handmade without looking crappy (not that anything any of us ever makes looks crappy, haha).

I started with a handful of paint sample cards I got at the hardware store down the road. if you want each triangle to be one color you should get the cards with larger squares of color (the bunting above is actually the in-between parts of the triangles I cut). The bigger the square, the bigger your triangle can be without words on it. I didn’t mind having a little bit of the color names left, so I just cut them as big as I could.

Next I took a thick thread meant for sewing buttons and hot glued it to the back of each triangle. Tape would work just as well if you don’t have hot glue. Any other kind of string or ribbon will work fine too- this is a very versatile project!

I would consider this for wedding decoration, easy to sit down with friends and make a lot of it some afternoon.

(If I were better at staging my photos I would have backed the cars out of the frame, oh well!)

After taking these pictures outside where you can actually see the colors I hung them up in my room. I took pictures but my orange room makes everything orange, see for yourself-

and that’s after lightening it!

I actually really like the duel color bunting I made with the leftover triangle parts (see the first picture). It says to me “I know I’m made out of paint samples, and I’m not trying to fool anyone.”

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.

Go Outside!

It’s been summer weather the past few weeks, so I’ve been outside as much as possible. I’ve done two DIY projects outside- one you’ll see Wednesday and one big one I’m waiting to photograph.

This is a picture of plants… azalea, according to my mom who I just asked, haha. One day I’ll be better at identifying plants, but until then, I’ll keep asking.

I’ve also been hooping!

I took this picture on my ipod using Instagram while I was hooping. Don’t let the hoop on the ground fool you, there was a much bigger hoop around my waist.

My only problem with this nice weather is that I can’t think of enough things to keep me outside all day.

What do you do outside when you don’t really have anything to do but want to be outside?

Update on the Pinterest TOS

This is an update to my last post about Pinterest and its Terms of Service.

As of this evening Pinterest has proposed new Terms of Service (that would take place April 6th). This is a great thing! Clearly the site is responding criticisms. It seems to me that this may sort of alleviate the problem, legally,but not functionally. It is still very easy to “pin” something without credit.

I’ve really been enjoying using Clipix today (nesting categories is fantastic!) and I’ve also noticed another thing that illustrates how the site cares about protecting the copyright off sources.

If you go to a website with images you can often right click on an image and open it in a new tab or window all by itself. If you do this to an image the Clip It bookmark tool will not let you Clip It. But if you go back to the website it came from you can Clip It with no problem.

This ensures that there is a source it can link to. I like that a lot because I’ve found quite a few pins that link to an image and not the site it came from. Google image search for the address of the image works sometimes but not always.

The bottom line: It’s good that Pinterest is changing its TOS but the functionality of the site still makes it too easy to leave off credit. Plus, Clipix has nesting categories and privacy settings that offer more versatility in a bookmarking site.

I’ll still be going to Pinterest to see what my friends Pin (especially since Clipix isn’t as social a site as of now) but I will be going to original sources and Clipping them onto Clipix.

My Clipix page can be found here.

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.