Sunday, June 27, 2010

Boys with Long Hair

I've talked about this before. My thoughts on the matter: So few guys can pull it off, but so many think they can.

Maybe it's just my own preference, but I think a guy has to be pretty damn special to pull off long hair. There's a very small percentage that can make it work, and it almost always has to be part of a look. If you are going for Fabio (i.e. Jared Leto), Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You, or Brad Pitt, you can make it work, but in my opinion, everyone else needs to reconsider. Chances are, they look more like Mitchel Musso.

But today's rant isn't about the adults who can make their own decisions. It's about the little five-year-olds you see and think "Is that a boy or a girl? Looks like a girl, but the spiderman sneakers say boy..." I saw three kids today, all looked exactly the same. Took me a few minutes to realize that one was a girl and two were boys.

I don't think that's a good thing to do to a kid. Gender identity is pretty important when you're that young, especially when a hairstyle can make the entire difference between gender identification. At least with adults, there are ways to tell male from female besides hair and clothes.

I tried to cover the picture many different ways and I still can't see him as a boy. He has pretty eyes though, doesn't he?


Monday, June 21, 2010

Wanting the cookie that's just out of reach

It's interesting how kids find things more interesting when they're too young for them.

I was thinking about the stack of old Seventeen magazines in a drawer in my room. Looking through them at the relationship advice, the articles about teen pregnancy, how to be a good kisser, how to know if he likes you, and "how to drive him crazy," I realized how inane and pointless those magazines are. Does anyone actually need that kind of advice?

I'm 17. By the name, I'm assuming 17-year-olds are their target readers. I feel like I'm so much more mature than that now. However, when I was a curious 11-year-old, I thought that magazine was so cool. I felt more mature because I had it. Sure, I really didn't need to learn what a G-spot was when I was that young, but that was why I thought it was so cool. It was something I wasn't supposed to have.

Same with "Sex and the City." I used to stay up late to watch that show after everyone was asleep with the volume on low and my finger on the channel button, prepared to flip to Disney Channel when I thought I heard footsteps. I wasn't really that interested in it, but I liked that I felt like I shouldn't be watching it. Now, I like it but I feel vacuous for liking it, not cool and rebellious.

Ever notice how shows for kids always feature characters that are older than their target audience? Look at Disney Channel. The main characters are high school kids. They don't act like they're in high school, of course. They have more in common with their target audience of 7-14 year olds than actual high schoolers, but they're made to represent normal 16-year-olds. Once kids actually reach high school, they lose their interest in these shows because they realize that's not what it's like to be 16. They lose their novelty. Once they know what it's really like to be that age, they don't need to watch and imagine it. There's nothing exciting about it anymore, and there's nothing cool about watching kids your own age act like children.

Not that I should talk. I still order chocolate milk in restaurants and I have a Powerpuff Girls blanket on my bed. But I still get a kick out of the forbidden. Everyone is more attracted to the things they don't know anything about and the things they aren't supposed to have.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Anastasia Krupnik

I was reading this blog that I thought was pretty interesting, talking about all these old kids books from the 80s. It's not a secret that I wish I was a kid in the 80s, or even a kid in the 90s for that matter. Being born in 1992 unfortunately doesn't make me a 90s child.

I like reading stuff like this even though I've read about two of the first 20 books she talks about. It made me think though about books from my childhood. That post I linked is about a book called Anastasia at this Address, which I surprisingly never read because I loved (and still love) the Anastasia books. It made me want to talk about the one I liked best, Anastasia Krupnik.

I know this isn't the original cover art, but this is the version I had as a child of the new millenium. It's about a 10 year old girl with glasses who likes to make lists. When I first read this, I was a ten year old with glasses who liked to make lists. Anastasia, however, was much smarter than me, had more interesting thoughts, and made better lists. I thought she was cool.

Anastasia's mother is young and an artist and her father is a poetry teacher who likes classical music. She finds out her mother is pregnant with another child, and Anastasia doesn't like the idea of sharing her position in the family. Anastasia keeps a notebook with pages designated for certain things like words she likes, a list of things she likes and a list of things she hates.

The story is a series of very simple events that Anastasia makes sense of by adding them to her lists. She is assigned to write a poem in school and she writes one in e.e. cummings style and fails the assignment. She decides she wants to convert to Catholicism because she finds out she gets to pick a new middle name. She has a crush on an older boy who she likes until she talks to him. She goes to work with her father and learns things about poems by Wordsworth and what it's like in a college class. She doesn't like visiting her grandmother because she's old, but she learns to appreciate her. Through these simple events and her lists, she learns a lot about life and gains a kind of maturity.

She learns to love her brother, her grandmother, and her own name, among other life lessons she discovers on her own. I love this book because it's so simple but shows a kind of maturity in Anastasia. The simple thoughts of a child are sometimes the most true. I used to read this book late at night in the dark by the the light of my neon mushroom lamp. I still read this book once in a while. It's like comfort food.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spongebob's "homosexuality." Palease.

I was visiting the amazing Wikipedia for some information about Spongebob. That show has really gone downhill, and I wanted to know if and when there was a change in writers. I stumbled upon a section on the Wikipedia page called "criticism" with discussion of the problems certain groups have with Spongebob's implied homosexuality.

Hold on. We're talking about the same Spongebob, right? The cartoon yellow kitchen sponge from a children's show who lives in the ocean inside a pineapple in a town called Bikini Bottom down the street from a talking starfish, a squid who plays clarinet, a crab with a whale for a daughter, and a squirrel who wears a space suit to breathe underwater? This is the Spongebob we're talking about, right?

Okay, just checking. Spongebob is one of those things that's meant to be taken for face value. If they tell you he lives in a pineapple under the sea, you just go with it. You don't ask how, you don't try to figure it out. You just go with it. This is the same for Spongebob's sexuality. If there isn't one, there isn't one. Stop looking for it.

The writers, the directors, the producers all said that they had no sexual orientation in mind for Spongebob because, after all, he's a cartoon kitchen sponge, but that they consider Spongebob to be asexual. Spongebob said himself in an episode that he can reproduce by budding. The creators of the show did not even consider it.

Some group called the We are Family Foundation used Spongebob in a video to promote gay rights and tolerance. These religious groups freaked out and deemed Spongebob inappropriate for children. In my opinion, these people are morons.

Kitchen sponges do not have sexual orientations, so shut up, turn off Nickelodeon, and go take a literature class somewhere. Literary analysis is all about looking for hidden sexual implications. Spongebob is for laughing at the antics of impossible characters as they catch jellyfish and blow bubbles. Please don't put sex into Spongebob.


There are so many things I don't know

That scares me more than anything.
Oh, and this post is dedicated to someone.
Dear smartass,
Bite me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


This post was originally titled "Why is there no Greased Lightning on Youtube?" and I was going to babble about how much I love Grease and how High School Musical ripped it off, but then I found THIS.


I also love that I can understand it. It's similar. It starts "In the summer, something happened. In the summer, everything changed. A girl was crazy for me. He watched me...something I don't understand...days of sun...nights of love..." Hehe I will work on figuring out the lyrics.

I don't think I would be this excited if it wasn't midnight. Weird things happen to me at midnight.


Friday, June 11, 2010

When flirting isn't flirting, is it still flirting?

I was reading about body language because ♥ ♥ linked me to a page, and there was a section on signs of flirting. I got a little nervous because I do all the things on the list, but not with the intention of flirting. The people I "flirt" with know it's not flirting. That makes it okay, right?

I'm not talking about flirting as in playful contact with cute stranger you meet at party. If you want to trace circles on the back of stranger cute guy's hand while you giggle at his lame jokes, don't blame society for tagging it as flirting. I'm talking about the subtle expression of interest between people who do know each other. You know, it's the kind of implicit indication, the things you do to that guy you like to gage his interest in you based on his reaction and safely say "hey, I like you" without risking anything. It's a legitimate skill, but are you still flirting when you don't think you are?

I've observed this in other people, girls who get close to guys because they are securely in the "friends zone." It doesn't matter what they do because everyone involved knows it's meaningless. Once you've reassigned meaning (or lack of meaning) to body language, it's no longer flirting. Problem is, what happens when you think you've changed the meaning, but the other person doesn't know that?

I was helping a guy analyze a girl's flirting signals. They sound like flirting to me, but she told him she wants to be friends. He thinks her body language and implications say otherwise. Maybe she's intentionally flirting, but maybe she's just ignoring the rules and taking meaning away from body language because she thinks they have an understanding. That makes so much sense because I do it, too. I have a friend I just do anything around because we have an understanding. I probably do everything on the flirting list, but I don't mean it as flirting. He knows I don't mean it as flirting. Sometimes I wonder though if he really knows it's meaningless. It's just easier not to have to walk on egg shells and censor my actions. You're not special because you're a guy, so I'm not going to worry about how I act around you. A friend is a friend...but what if they don't know that?

Errors in communication make this annoying when other people aren't aware that you reassigned meaning to body language. It becomes less of an indication of interest and more of a miscommunication of the status of the relationship. I can name countless TV shows and movies where a girl's behavior is mistaken by the guy as interest when the girl just thinks they're good friends (or vice versa).

So what defines flirting, the action or the intention? I don't think you can ever be sure of it because intentions are never certain, and when actions depend on the intentions behind them, flirting is flirting with disaster. Disaster, or at least some comedy as old as time without a laugh track to tell you it's funny.