What’s on my mind, September megapost

Yeahhhhh this type of post I usually do on Fridays, but the past three weeks have been so discombobulated, I’m tired of sitting on this as a draft. So, here we go! :

  • I LOVE the idea of this cake and this tutorial.

    But seriously, who is going to be patient enough to do this and not just eat the frosting?!

  • Such a great quote:

    “If you require any evidence that femininity can be more fierce and dangerous than masculinity, all you need to do is ask the average man to hold your handbag or a bouquet of flowers for a minute, and watch how far away he holds it from his body. Or tell him that you would like to put your lipstick on him and watch how fast he runs off in the other direction.”

    Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman On Sexism And The Scapegoating of Femininity

    This quote really speaks to me. I sometimes struggle with being ashamed of how feminine I can be. It’s true though, femininity is incredibly powerful!

  • Look at the Blonds Spring 2014 collection:

    models

    SO FUTURISTIC! SO SPACEY! SO AWESOME!!
    I love all of it. They remind me of my favorite Barbie growing up, 80’s space Barbie. SO COOOOOLLLLLL. There are way more pics of this collection here. I love all of them. Okay, maybe not the Tweety dress.

  • I am currently reading through this post about Men’s Rights and it is very interesting and well-written. I plan on using it as a resource should I ever come across a MRA in the wild.
  • I really really really want to make myself a Bat Wing shrug:

    I mean really. ADORABLE.

  • This week I am reading Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. It is really dark, and reminds me a lot of Robin McKinley’s Deerskin. I wasn’t planning on finishing it… until Margo replied to me on twitter and now I feel kind of OBLIGATED. It IS super well-written and that part is enjoyable. We’ll see how I make it through.

    Next up for me is Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie and I am SO EXCITED to read it. Though, I need to study for the GRE first… I am going to try and put off starting this book until Sunday… but knowing me, I’ll crack it open tonight in lieu of reviewing multiple choice questions.

  • You guys realize that my goal is that my house looks somewhat like this, right?

  • Sometimes I wish I had infinite money because, oh man, you guys, the deer figurines I could buy. But I also would totally invest in this kickstarter, because it looks super cool and Victoria Gannan’s art is beautiful. I might need to find an extra $30 in my budget to get a copy of this beautiful deck!
  • My blog/image source of the week is The Vintage Cowboy over on tumblr.

    These illustrations are all so cool and awesome! I’d love to have a print of one of them. I miss old book illustrations.

That’s it for this week!

selfies in the dark

Basically all I have been doing the past two weeks have been cleaning and re-arranging my new studio, studying for the GRE, and rocking back and forth while sobbing. Except ignore that last point. That point definitely is a lie. Who even said that?!

General disclaimer: this is the stupidest and also most image-heavy post.
I MEAN, UH, I know y’all are just dying to see photos of my new apartment, so here you go, I will take you on a tour.

Let’s start in the most important room:

The bathroom

Wow. Isn’t it just amazing? There are my scarves on the outside line of the door and you can see my really trendy shower curtain. Yeah, it’s currently for sale at Target for like $20. But I got it at Goodwill for $3. Yeah. I am the coolest.

Also it’s a metro map of London so if you are ever lost in London just call me and I’ll get in the shower and help you figure out where you need to go. I know, I know, I’m so giving.

Check this out:

Yeah dudes! I have a lot of hair flowers. I don’t really know why, actually. I don’t wear them that often. But they are pretty cool. I feel fancy when I wear them. This is how I store them. It kind of reminds me of those flower garlands they put on horses after they win races, you know? Like, that horse doesn’t have any idea he won that race until they put that big flower garland around his neck… and then he knows he is king of the horses.
Oh, also, that’s right across from my toilet. I didn’t take a photo of it, I figure, you’ve seen at least one in your lifetime.

I did have to stand on my tiptoes to get a good photo of that garland though. I did that for you. Continue reading

future dogs

Hi, I love dogs. I always have. I’m not sure why.

OH WAIT NO, I TOTALLY DO KNOW WHY.

It’s because they are hilarious.

Stupid.

Silly.

Cool.

And by personality, they typically love you.

I have spent most of my childhood and adult life daydreaming about the dogs I am going to own and what I am going to name them. Now, I know, I know, once you are presented with a living, breathing animal, names and intentions and personalities tend to throw all expectations out the window. But seriously, a girl can dream, right?


(photo by Chris Mallon)

If I ever bring home a Great Pyrenees, I’m naming him Aslan.
Or, possibly, a variation of ‘Tiny’.


(photo by boushh2187)

If I ever bring home some Mastiffs, I’m naming them Romeo and Juliet, because why not and also LOOK AT THOSE FACES OMG.


(photo by 5of7)

If I ever bring home a Great Dane, he’s being named Ferdinand (as in Ferdinand the Bull).

My list of dogs and names can go on and on and on and on, but the most important one to me, is my future pal:


(photo by Rayya the Vet)

Y’all, I really love Bull Terriers. I love their cocked ears and giant noses and silly eyes. I dearly await one day having a white-furred bully buddy of my own. My favorite name for a bull terrier is probably Gus-Gus. So cute! We would go on walks and he’d dig in the dirt and I’d constantly have to pull white hairs off of all of my black clothes, but man, someday, I will, and it will be great.

idiosyncrasies

If I am alone and there is a spider, I freak out: flailing, shrieking, heart poundingly terrified of a 3 millimeter by 3 millimeter, 8-legged arachnid.

If someone else is in the room first, and they see a spider, and freaks out before I do, I have zero problems with taking care of it- squishing it or setting it free (depending on it’s crimes).

It’s like, as long as someone freaks out about something first, I am somehow then released to respond to a situation without emotion. Until that release happens though, I am just as paralyzed and helpless as anyone else.

This doesn’t make any sense to me.

party

So hey what’s up, I love words. I love the nuances of words. Sometimes that trips me up because I can be super careless about words, but man. Words are really cool. The fact that we use language and that in using a single phrase you can convey so many different things by using emphasis or alternate meanings of words and imagery just completely blows my mind. You got that? Okay, now I change the subject:

Hey, my name is Brittknee and I like to party.

Oh no, not that kind of party. I much too enjoy going to bed at a decent time.

Hahha, no, I really don’t like getting shit-faced.

Ooooh yeah, THAT’s my kind of party! Snacks and tea trays, lemonade and sangria. Banners and hats and good times and good food and good people. Maybe some drunks, but not excessive drunks. Maybe some dancing, but only a small crowd and only until 1 or 2am.

A friend of mine used to sneer at me and laugh and say, “Oh. You like TEA PARTIES.” as if there is something bad about that. DUDE. TEA PARTIES ARE OFF THE HOOK.

TEA PARTIES ARE OFF THE CHAIN.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON.

Sometimes. SOMETIMES people talk politics and it’s polite and interesting and fun and people disagree and decide to end their argument by shoving cookies in their mouth. You always have a great time–playing games or just listening to people talk. Catching up with old friends and playing with someone else’s new baby. Tea parties rock.

Last night we had a double-header for my group of friends. One friend is in town for a brief internship, and another friend happened to be having a birthday. So we solved the problem this obviously caused by having a party with four cakes:

IT WAS PRETTY GREAT. I’m not going to lie. I ate way too much cake and felt kind of sugar overloaded but we also had whipped cream and cocktail animals, cheese and wine and chips and spinach dip.It was a seriously delicious party. Of course, it wasn’t a Pinterest affair, but it was fun and awesome and full of great food and also cake. Did I mention cake?

I think the best part about our little gathering was that my friend Jessica purchased a singing birthday candle and turned it on while we were lighting ALL the candles. It screeched out “Happy Birthday” while we frantically failed at lighting candles and cupped our hands over our ears in pain. We are pretty good at moments like that, moments when everyone cringes and laughs in pain and horror in shared, silly misery.

I have had so much cake in the last few days, it’s ridiculous. I should be sick of cake, but I’m not. In fact, I’m wishing I had taken a piece home to enjoy tonight as I clean my apartment.

I need to get organized to have a housewarming/ check out my new place party, and you had better KNOW it’s going to be a tea party! It is going to be the sweetest tea party you ever saw. But first I have to survive secondary tax season and find the time to do it!

(images are from tumblr)

my body, myself

My friend Nona over at The Frisky posted this great list of Better Body Affirmations for Young Women and that, along with several other things I have come across this week, makes me want to talk about body positivity.

Man, you guys. I both do and don’t want to write a post about body positivity.

I mean, seriously. There are so many wonderful people on the internet doing a FANTASTIC JOB of covering it. I confess, I don’t read them all. Here are a few good links to get you started, if you’re unaware of the body positivity movement. Sally from Already Pretty, Luvin’ My Curves. Fuck Yeah Body Positivity, Body Positivity for Guys, and Body Positive Tips are good places to get started.

And I’m not an expert. I can’t say I speak for the entire community. This is just my opinion and me trying to form words about something that bothers me. Please help me clarify or expound further if I say something that upsets you, because I am tooootally not posting this to hurt anyone’s feelings.

I’ve seen people roll their eyes at body positivity because THERE IS THIS ASSUMPTION THAT people who are happy with themselves and don’t fit into what is an “accepted size” aren’t “healthy” which, in this day and age, basically means they are terrible slobs who deserve to die faster than everyone else and also, go back to your cave, troll. Isn’t that a terrible way to look at people? Our advertising and society nonstop tells us that we aren’t good enough, cute enough, fit enough.

So much about opinion about someone’s body size depends on the assumption that “they want to be that way”. I don’t believe that body shape is a decision. I have friends who aren’t athletic and don’t make an effort to eat like rabbits who maintain a size 2-3 with ease. I also have friends who are SUPER athletic and healthier than anyone I know and they remain a size 10-12 because that’s just the diameter of their hips. But really, the point of LIFE shouldn’t be to change your vessel, your own piece of life, to be something that a vague collective of society says is “acceptable”. Fuck society. No, really. According to society, if you’re too big, you’re disgusting. If you’re too skinny, eat a cheeseburger.

Dude. Eat what you want. Make the choice for yourself. Food is delicious. If you love salads, well, I think you’re kind of crazy, but it’s cool, I’ll just be here, inhaling pulled pork like there’s no tomorrow. Do you want some cake? Let’s have some cake, too. Man. Cake. Cake is so good.

Okay, I’m getting off on a tangent there.

This is the part where I talk about me.

One time I watched a tattoo documentary and it featured a young man with a giant back piece of a dragon fighting a tiger. When asked to explain his tattoo, he basically said that the dragon was his bad side and the tiger was his good side, and that the two were locked in an eternal struggle for dominance. My tiger is probably my self esteem, and my dragon… the perceived size of my body? How I feel about my health? Society’s opinion on my stature? I’m not sure quite how to describe it, but I have always been locked in a wrestling match between how I feel about myself and how I think I look to the world. I know internally that I will probably always struggle with my own body. I’ll always dislike that one mole, the front of my scarred knees, or wish my boobs fit into the dress that is either too big or too small (depending on the day).

I think that we all have to figure out, as we grow up, how to learn to love our physical selves through our struggles. To value our details as we dislike others or wish the arbitrary number on our jeans was a smaller or bigger number. To give ourselves a pep talk when we beat ourselves up. And to dress the way we want, not the way society wants us to.

These are things I don’t want to be:
A person who posts on Facebook photos of large women in clothing with disparaging remarks.
A person who assumes anyone is the shape or size they are because they are lazy or terrible or disgusting.
A person who is hateful.

I am currently starting on a new fitness routine that I am Very! Excited! About! I am proud of myself for forcing my body to jump through hoops and do squats because I really really enjoy not moving and looking at tumblr. But I am doing it while I am happy with myself. I want my shape to be harder, buffer, stronger. I want to be more comfortable lifting heavy things and not feel like a dumbass when I don’t have the grip strength to turn a screw. Yeah, I guess that’s a choice, but it is my choice and my choice alone. It isn’t something I can assume that will work for everyone I know, or a choice I mean to inflict on anyone. I really hope I can get buff and stay the size I am, honestly. I like being a size 10!

“Kiss your own fingertips
and hug your own curves.
You are made of waves and honey
and spicy peppers when it is necessary.
You are a goddess,
I hope you haven’t forgotten.” – Emery Allen

I love my body.
I hope you love yours.

As an addendum: this slam-poetry performance (is that what it’s called?) has been going around Tumblr lately, and wow, just. WOW.

It opens up a completely different topic about gender roles and society and generations of women but I can’t help but feel like it needs to be included in this post.

Defense

I get way too defensive at work, and in life.

It’s not that I don’t take criticism well! Actually, no. It IS that I don’t take criticism well.  I always have a reason for missing something or screwing something up. 

Me, whenever anyone tells me how I screwed up.

 

I need to learn how to take criticism silently.

I have got to get better at this.

What’s on my mind – first week of September

Well, I’m still settling in, still without internet, still needing to buy last-minute items (silverware, a pot, another bowl, maybe a drain plug) and mostly just figuring out my new routine with 2 extra hours in my day and my own space that is mine, all mine.

  • This link has been going around the tumblrs a lot lately, but Mica Hendricks collaborated with her 4yo daughter on some portraits and they are basically the best and cutest ever.

  • Words to live by.
  • You may not know this, but I love kaleidoscopes. So I am EXTRA THRILLED to present to you, the Catleidoscope. Don’t stare at it too long, you might get kinda dizzy.

  • Huskies are the best.
  • My featured flickr contact today is Depression Press. This photostream is full of neat old letterpress blocks, advertisements, book illustrations and illustrations, as well as current creations.
  • Yesterday on my walk home, it rained and rained and rained and RAINED!! Portland has the reputation of being a rainy city, but our rain is very different than what you might assume. I feel like we have more of an endless drippy-damp-misty-wet season, as opposed to real, hard, RAIN. But last night it POURED and it was kind of awesome. Because of that, this morning, even though next week the weather report says it’s going to get hot tomorrow, I feel like wearing a scarf and having soup for dinner.
  • In conclusion, I want a print of this old magazine cover because it is awesome:


    And everyone knows that her image was just as “fixed” in the darkroom as they fix models today. Only you can still see her ribs beneath the skin. I love that. She could be my best friend’s badass grandmother, she could be me.

Welp, I moved!

It turns out that moving is exhausting.

Who knew, right?

Three nights of no sleep and unpacking and a stress migraine later, I am 99.9% moved in.

It seems more and more like home the longer I’m there, and it’s more and more put together every night.

There are still a few things I need to acquire for my place, like, a sink trap, a bathtub plug, a mirror and some curtains. I am currently living without a dresser, which isn’t a terrible inconvenience, but it is a little awkward just the same!

Three things I love about my new place:

  • My commute is less than a 20 minute walk to work.
  • My kitchen has pink countertops.
  • I live within walking distance of two places that sell things like this:

Now I just have to get home internet, and get re-focused back on studying for the GRE!