Thursday, December 25, 2008

Mele Kalikimaka

Dear No One in Particular,

Merry Christmas*, one and all! I hope you're enjoying the holiday season, and nothing but love to you and yours.

Well, I'm finally back in California and am freezing my booty off. Yes, I know that there are parts of the country blanketed in snow, but it's damn cold for someone who lives in a tropical climate! Which leads me to why I'm posting on Christmas night. I should be spending time with my family, roasting chestnuts and singing carols or some Hallmark nonsense. Well, my parents arrived about 2 days ago from their vacation in the Philippines (can you tell we don't like to be cold?) and they're jetlagged out of their minds. They're both passed out on the couch right now, snoring up some very festive harmonies. I'm stuck in the dining room listening to them because I, uh, blew a fuse that blacked out half the house. In my quest to warm up my icebox/bedroom, I plugged in two space heaters and set them to "Death Valley in July". This, coupled with the TV, clocks, cellphone charger and laptop is probably what did the fuse in. Fun part is, no one can get to the fuse box; it's in the garage, which is in the half of the house that lost power. So, no lights until the morning.

Quick change of subject: not that I'm one to brag about my presents, or anything, but my mother, in her infinite wisdom gave me a Kindle for Christmas! I've been on the fence about the Kindle and it's electronic book reader bretheren for a while now: I really like the tactile pleasure of books: the way they smell, the feel of turning pages, the glossy covers. Also, I read so often that I rarely purchase books; I'm a frequent visitor to my local libraries, and harbour dreams of one day being a librarian myself. But, like I said, I read a lot. I'm rarely without a book, which really weighs down my purse and puts limits on which books I can tote around. The Kindle really frees up space in my bag and is light enough to be a non-issue, so I'm psyched out of my mind. I just purchased a couple of books, so a real, in-depth review will be up shortly.
First impressions: it's quick and light, which is great, but the layout of the page-buttons is maddeningly terrible.

So, I hope your holidays were bright and merry and full of food and love, blogosphere. If you're somewhat lonely and have a spare moment, come share a story with me!


*Also: Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and/or whatever holiday you happen to celebrate.

Monday, December 15, 2008

And now for something completely different ...

Dear No One in Particular,

I love covers and mashups, especially when the resulting song is wildly different from the original. It's so easy to copy what you hear, like singing along to the radio; it takes so much more to make it your own. Which is why I absolutely love Lily Allen's take on "Womanizer"*. I really didn't like the original, and Lily's spin feels so much more organic, sans synth beats and auto-tuning (at least to a lesser degree than Britney's version).
The website I've linked to has a ton of covers available for listening. I know I'll be spending a couple of hours there!

Also: I know this isn't much of an update. I'm smack in the middle of my final exams, so I won't be posting ... well, probably at all. Alack, alas, much rending of garments, I'm sure. But! My holiday break is coming soon, and with it an inordinate amount of free time, so there'll be a flood of long-winded posts to make up for these short updates that are probably better regulated to a Tumblr than an actual blog.**

Regardless, enjoy and lovely listening!


*I can't embed the file directly, so a link will have to suffice. [via: 24 Free Dinners]
**True story: I created a Tumblr for myself a little while ago and managed to post exactly twice before I became so intimidated I never looked back.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Confession: I've never seen any Star Wars movies.

"Star Wars": an a capella tribute to John Williams
[via: Capucha]

This video is hilarious, all the same.
For some bizarre reason, it looks like something the Boy would do if he had the energy and editing software.*


I'm not sure why I think this; it's not like he's an insane Star Wars or John Williams fan.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Pound of Flesh

Dear No One in Particular,

The problem of "nude" is a hot-button topic for a number of bloggers recently (Wendy Brandes and Jezebel both dedicated some space to the issue), raising the question: when did "beige" become a synonym for "nude"?

Obviously, this designation did not spring up within the last week. I have distinct memories of Lucky touting "nude" sandals for summer 2006 -- proof that nothing in fashion (especially fashion magazines) is truly original. But why nude? Are Lucky and other magazines so dense that they don't realise that, no, people are not all the same colour underneath their clothes? I can understand that "beige" and "oatmeal", while apt descriptions, have decidedly un-sexy connotations, what's wrong with "neutral" or "taupe"?

Equally troubling are the racist overtones of lauding something as "nude" and promising that shoes in such a hue would elongate the leg line when obviously, this only works for, well, white people. So what -- people who aren't white don't want longer legs? Don't have that option available to them?

Perhaps I'm overthinking this.
While I'm not one to be overly involved with the PC movement, the fact remains that fashion is guilty for perpetuating the myth that white skin = beautiful skin -- a point I've written about before. So yes, political correctness can reach dizzying heights of ridiculousness, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's invalid. From where I'm sitting, the fashion industry could use a healthy dose of it -- and perhaps some diversity training.


P.S. Another issue that comes up in these discussions of "nude for whom" is the Crayola "flesh" coloured crayon. Apparently, the colour was discontinued in the 1960s in response to the Civil Rights movement, and was subsequently rebranded as "peach". Colour me crazy, but I was born a solid two decades after the "flesh" crayon disappeared, but I still remember using it as a wee one in the early '90s. Maybe I had a really, really old box? Or am I making false memories?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Big Rock Candy Mountain

Dear No One in Particular,

As someone who once wrote an extensive -- and dead serious (sounding*) -- essay on the ethnographic merits of Borat, this article about Candyland as a metaphor for the American Dream is fascinating. I wish I had thought of it.

In related news, I freaking loved Candyland. Never has a game board mesmerized me so. I always wanted to be Princess Lolly, and Lord Licorice freaked me out. His character design always felt too similar to Disney villans of the time.

What about you? Any fond memories of Candyland, or any other classic children's games?


It was definitely one of those "how far can I push this?" assignments. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to really test my bullshitting skills on a final paper -- good thing it worked out in my favour!

Keep on Dancin' to the Rock & Roll

Dear No One in Particular,

I finally finished my epic research paper, meaning I am that much closer to never needing to write an academic paper ever. again.

To celebrate, I've been cozying up to this fantastic post on Jezebel with a giant glass of red. The commenters have great taste in music, and I've been downloading like a mad woman, inspired by the videos they've posted.

Celebrate with me! Share some amazing music.

Here are my selections:

Squeeze -- "Tempted" (the greatest song EVER. It won't embed, sadly.)
Jamiroquai -- "Virtual Insanity" (much better than "Canned Heat", IMO. Another disabled embed-video.)


(I can't explain why I love this song with passion that burns like the clap. I just do.)
(Also: a great video or THE GREATEST VIDEO?)

What gets your booty groovin'?