Category Archives: wat

Wearing fuchsia lipstick: Not the apex of self-acceptance, but it helps

[Image of Annaham, a young woman with dark blond hair (worn in a bun) and blue eyes, sitting on a couch and pursing her lips in an exaggerated manner. She wears a black t-shirt and fuchsia lipstick.]

So, sometimes I like to wear makeup. This is not exactly news, I know.

In this photo, I am wearing Urban Decay’s Trainwreck lipstick, which is BRIGHT FUCHSIA, and it has glitter in it. I should note that I am not wearing any other makeup here, hence the wonky left eyebrow and skin unevenness. After I first bought this lipstick, I was kind of afraid to wear it in public because it is SO BRIGHT on my lips. I feel like someone, at some point, may come up to me and say, “That lipstick is too bright for your lips! Wear something more neutral.” (This may or may not be followed by an invasive question about my cane, because people commenting on someone’s appearance tend to pull that kind of shit, at least in my experience.)

To which I say: This is the only bright lipstick shade that I own, and I usually have issues with my lips in that I think they are too big and/or “out there.” That feeling seems to take a backseat when I wear this lipstick. Sometimes I just want to say, “MY LIPS ARE BIG AND THEY ARE COVERED IN BRIGHT FUCHSIA LIPSTICK, DAMMIT. OH, AND I WALK WITH A CANE BECAUSE I HAVE A DISABILITY, SO YOU CAN TAKE YOUR JUDGMENT AND SHOVE IT.”

I am not sure what walking with a cane and wearing bright lipstick have to do with each other. Maybe they have nothing to do with each other. But I will apologize for neither, and, in some way, I may be further inching toward accepting myself just a little more.

[Originally posted on my Tumblr]

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Winston’s greatest (recorded) hits, so far

So, my Yorkshire Terrier, Winston, is a critter about whom I have written before, most notably on FWD. I have described his odd habits before, but in order to get the true Winnie experience, it is best to view it for oneself. Below are some videos that my partner, Liam, recorded that feature Winston’s weirder behaviors. The first two are funnier in HD or in one of YouTube’s high-quality formats.

Here is one that features Winston panting (loudly!), after a lengthy walk on a warm day (the thing on the right is my foot):

Spinning his face into the carpet (exactly what it sounds like). The best part, I think, is at the end, when he realizes that someone is watching:

Rubbing himself on our couch and making bizarre noises for no discernible reason at all:

I’m sure Winston will have many more YouTube vids to come, but for now, the above will have to do!

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Problem toes

What I imagine my toes might say, if they could talk. As usual, click for large.

[Description: Black and white line drawing of two feet; all of the toes have gleeful facial expressions, and a few of them have dialogue lines. Third left toe: "My nail grows at a weird angle"; Big left toe: "My large calluses will never go away, Ped Egg or no"; Big right toe: "The joint just below me will hurt in cold weather, and you will have no idea why!"; Smallest left toe: "My nail grows at a 45-degree angle!"]

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Dancing robot

I am in the middle of doing many things (including moving), which means I haven’t had much time to update! Here is a robot, developed by H. Kozima and M. Michalow, dancing to some music.

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Detached

[Description: Line drawing of a woman in a bed, sitting up against the pillows as her eyes—popping out of her head—focus on her body parts, which have detached from their sockets and are floating around the room.]

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OF COURSE it’s time for meds, if a rocketship crashes into your head

[Image description: A line drawing of a young woman with a quizzical facial expression who has a rocket embedded in the left side of her head. A thought bubble to her right reads, “It’s time for Vicodin.”]

Ink on paper, 2009.

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Kids these days! The “Generation Y” panic, privilege, and erasure

Recently, I read this bizarre article, penned by Judith Warner, in the New York Times–one in a stream of many that detail how excessively awful the current generation of young people (read: young workers) is at putting its collective nose to the grindstone, sucking it up, and generally not acting like a bunch of brats, or something.

Many of us have heard about, or come into contact with, some of these bright young things. They are heralded — or, more commonly, blasted — as naive, entitled, too optimistic, and over-confident. The note of panic begins fairly quickly: They don’t know how to dress professionally! They expect to march into the workplace of their choice and immediately start making a six figure-salary! They think they are perfect! They want praise all of the time! (Does no one who writes this stuff stop to consider that many human beings want praise when they complete a task to the best of their abilities?) They have tattoos, dyed hair, and iPods! EVERYBODY PANIC, because the American workplace is apparently going to be dragged down by Generation Y’s entitlement, narcissism and laziness! This narrative, however, seems to apply mostly to a very specific subset of the population (and even the picture that accompanies the NYT article reinforces this): young, able-bodied, middle to upper-middle class, college-educated white people.

This erases, or conveniently ignores, a hell of a lot of folks who are not young, abled, middle/upper-middle class, and white. It erases young workers who may not have had as many educational opportunities, or who had to take more than the expected four years to finish their degree, or who did not finish school, or go to college at all. It erases people whose parents or family members may not have been quite so “involved” in their education, or in their lives at all. Of course, it also erases young people with disabilities — both those who cannot work, and those who want to work but who may be bumping up against this narrative of the “entitled” Generation Y denizen. Some of us have psychological issues or disabilities that put us completely at odds with the “overly-confident” and “entitled” stereotype that apparently befits the current generation — because we cannot stop worrying despite the fact that we are supposed to be totally optimistic and confident all of the time, thinking that the roads leading to our perfect job will be lined with rainbows and gold.

Some of us have physical disabilities, chronic pain, or chronic illnesses that prevent us from working 40-hour weeks (or more); asking for accommodations or disclosing our condition(s), we fear, may make us look “entitled,” or like we do not want to put in the time necessary to work our way up — even if this is not the case. The fact is that many people, and many young people, with disabilities are already at a tremendous disadvantage when it comes to the labor market and making a living. Not only are many people with disabilities more likely to live in poverty, but they may face hostility, discrimination, and unreasonable demands, both in the workplace and from society at large.

While I am not saying that these over-entitled Generation Y-ers don’t exist (they absolutely do, in my experience), I am struck by the fact that this narrative is so dependent upon erasing or ignoring certain people whose bodies and experiences do not fit the “expected” labor-related attitudes that have been traditionally upheld by American culture. Many of these attitudes, furthermore, rely heavily on binaries: You either work full-time, or you’re lazy. You’re willing to be mistreated in the workplace and do whatever it takes “for the job,” or you’re a wimp. Suck it up, or go home. If you’re not making enough money to live on or are poor, you just aren’t working hard enough. If you ask for “accommodations,” you’re asking for too much — just do your job! You have to work hard to “make it,” and if you don’t work hard enough, it’s your fault. If you don’t like your job or face daily mistreatment, you can always quit and find another one, right? But if you can’t, it’s your fault, and why did you quit that job, anyway?

The message for Generation Y, in general, may be “Get over yourself,” but the message for those who do not fit the characteristics of the “average” Generation Y worker is more severe — and ultimately more dire.

[Cross-posted at FWD]

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Creepy Crocs

[Description: A young-looking white woman enters what looks like a fancy lobby and climbs a set of stairs, to soft music. Cut to a closet, where a pair of anthropomorphic orange slip-on shoes peek out of the door. One makes a "quiet" motion to the other. The woman unlocks the door to her apartment, and the shoes open the closet door. A dog looks at them as they come running out of the closet, tripping over some dog toys as they do so. The shoes grab onto the woman's ankles as she enters the apartment. She sits down, and they remove her high heeled-shoes, then begin to massage her feet. Voiceover: "Meet Croslite, the loyal, loving, good-for-you-technology in every pair of Crocs." The woman stands up from the couch, and this time her feet are clad in a pair of red flats. She walks into another room as text onscreen reads "Feel the love" and Crocs shoe-styles "rotate" near the text, and the Crocs logo appears below it.]

I can’t be the only one who’s creeped out by this TV ad for Crocs; it has the general aura of one of those ads that’s supposed to be cute but just ends up seeming totally fucking creepy. As comfortable as Crocs are, I do not want to associate my pair (surprise, they are orange!) with scary little shoe-people who are just so excited when I come home that they cannot help but grab onto my ankles, then smile and blink as they massage my feet (which are probably stinky and certainly not that nicely manicured).

Furthermore, I can only imagine what the pitch meeting for this ad must have been like.

So, what are your favorite ad campaigns in which a sense of creepiness (or outright horror) rises from the ashes of cute and/or endearing?

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Monday music post, “final exams!11″ edition

Hello readers! You may have noticed that I have not updated in a week or so. This is because I have been busy with final exams and such. But I have a lot of cool posts planned for when I am FINISHED with finals, so please bear with me.

Anyway, here are some songs that I have been enjoying as of late. If you have songs that you would like to share, you may leave YouTube links in comments (lyrics are also good!). Or just talk about stuff you’ve been listening to lately, or concerts you’ve seen, or albums you’ve (re)discovered. Whatever — it’s up to you.

First up, here is a suitably intense version of Tori Amos’s “Blood Roses” from 1999 or so (lyrics here):

Next, we have “Here Lies Love” (lyrics; vid is audio-only) by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim with Florence Welch, from the recent concept album of the same name, which is SO AWESOME and you should track down a copy (especially if you like disco, concept albums, and/or female singers):

Finally, an oldie-but-goodie, “Ocean” by the Velvet Underground (lyrics; vid is audio-only):

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Why SF’s Proposed Sit/Lie Laws Are a Terrible Idea

[Note: Please read the comments policy carefully before commenting.]

In San Francisco currently, there is something of a debate brewing about Mayor Newsom’s proposed sit/lie laws, which would make it illegal for anyone to sit or lie on any public curb or street in San Francisco (with a couple of exceptions).

The intersections with disability here are rather clear. For one thing, there are some intersections between homelessness and disability, because some homeless people are, for example, mentally ill or have disabling physical problems. Do either of these things make them unworthy of compassion, or not human? Of course not, but from the way this proposed ordinance is designed, it is, on a very basic level, criminalizing homelessness even more than it is already criminalized (not to mention socially stigmatized), while taking extra “common sense” steps to avoid citing non-homeless people for an offense. Observe the following response to concerns that SF police would begin to crack down on non-homeless people were the laws to go into effect:

During a heated, five-hour Board of Supervisors public safety committee hearing on the issue Monday, Adachi showed photographs of behavior that would be illegal under Newsom’s proposed law: a well-heeled tourist sitting on her luggage as she waits for a cab, a little boy sitting on a sidewalk clutching his skateboard, and tourists sitting on a curb and gazing up at the sights.

Assistant Police Chief Kevin Cashman said all of those people would be warned first to move and that none of them would probably receive a citation.

“Obviously common sense is going to be part of the training with enforcement of this statute,” he said at the hearing.

Ah, yes, “common sense.” Common sense, apparently, still makes the further stigmatization of homeless people de rigeur. Because apparently, they don’t deserve to sit down in public, unlike “well-heeled” tourists and neighborhood residents. I wonder what the response to a person with disabilities — tourist or not — needing to sit down on a public street might be? Someone waiting for an ambulance? While that is approaching a bit of a slippery slope argument (which I generally like to avoid), it is worth considering, simply because “common sense” will mean different things to different people — those whose job it is to enforce the statute included.

Also interesting is the framing of this ordinance in terms of concern for children. From one of the SF Gate articles:

Newsom, who bought a home in the Haight recently, was convinced to support an ordinance after walking along Haight Street with his infant daughter and seeing someone smoking crack and blocking the entrance of a business.

Certainly, children need to be protected from dangerous situations or potentially dangerous situations, but is an ordinance that criminalizes the poor and homeless — not all of whom are recreational drug users or addicts — really the way to do it?

Additionally, nowhere have I seen any plan to increase the number of homeless shelters or services for homeless people attached to this ordinance. The implicit message behind these proposed sit/lie laws seems clear: It’s too bad you’re homeless, but don’t you dare be homeless on our streets, because it might make our city look bad. Oh, and you certainly shouldn’t expect the city to help you not be homeless — even after it cites you for breaking the sit/lie law.

(Cross-posted at FWD/Feminists With Disabilities)

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