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06:48pm 15/06/2006
  Review of "James Tiptree Jr." biography

Michael Chabon introduction on "Entertainment"

Lacy leaf scarf knitting pattern
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The What Kind of PIRATE Are You Test   
05:41pm 08/06/2006
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I share a name with WHAT?!   
03:03pm 06/06/2006
Once she recovered from the shock, Anne Frank would probably get a good laugh out of the way her name has been immortalized in Japan. "Today is Anne's Day (An-ne no hi)," one woman might whisper to another. Her message is far removed from World War II and the Nazi regime that forced the Jewish teenager and her family into hiding. The diary that Anne kept moved millions to ponder the insanity of war. It also gave Japan a now old-fashioned term for menstruation. Although few people say Anne no hi anymore, older women still recognize it and remember it when they speak, not of war and death, but of the flowing potential for life.

Anne broached this topic tenderly once: "Each time I have a period--and that has only been three times--I have the feeling that in spite of all the pain, the unpleasantness and nastiness, I have a sweet secret and that is why, although it is nothing but a nuisance to me in a way, I always long for the time that I shall feel that secret within me again."

The connection is so obscure that it would never have occurred to the average Japanese if it weren't for a certain sanitary napkin and tampon manufacturer that chose to call itself Anne Co., Ltd. This firm introduced the first sanitary paper products proportioned for Japanese women in 1961, using Anne's Day" as an advertising theme.

--Cherry, Kittredge. Womensword: What Japanese Words Say About Women, 1987, page 18.
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Screw the laws of nature and reason.   
07:29am 26/05/2006
  "According to the laws of nature and reason, no adult female (unless she was gravely ill in body or mind) would be able to or want to fit into children's clothes."

--Marylin Bender, The Beautiful People, 1967
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Worst Lipstick Color Name Ever   
02:07pm 17/05/2006
  Bought a NYX lipstick in a brownish-red shade named "Ulysses," which struck me as a rather odd name for lipstick--do they also make a gothy black lipstick called "The Dead"? Or a brilliant red-orange called "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mango"? Or, if they're naming their shades after books that nobody ever finishes, a mini-palette of lip glosses called "Gravity's Rainbow"?

But no, it's actually because they named a whole series of lipsticks after characters from Greek mythology.

Including one with the worst lipstick color name ever.
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Loli Research Links: Pink House, Kaneko Isao   
04:46pm 03/05/2006
  Links and cut-and-paste data for my own research purposes.
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Quiz: What Kind of Girl are You?@Cooking to Hook Up   
04:07pm 06/04/2006
  From jexia6.
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Quiz: The Director Who Films Your Life Test   
01:35pm 04/04/2006
  The Director Who Films Your Life Test
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Dream: Library Gunwoman and the Ganges River   
06:55pm 20/03/2006
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Three Good Things That Happened To Me In Dance Class Yesterday   
08:48pm 20/02/2006

Last night the instructor took me aside and asked if I would consider joining the group who'll be practicing for competition this summer. I think I might go for it, time permitting. Hopefully the beginning-amateur level of ballroom dancing does not involve fake tanning and affixing rhinestones to one's skin.


Tried to correct one of my partners--"I feel like you might be pushing me a beat early"--but he stuck to his guns and insisted that he was right and moreover, I was wrong. We had to go to the instructor for arbitration not once but twice, but it turns out that I WAS RIGHT. SO THERE.

(Petty? Who, me?)


Cute partner.

Pretty, pretty boy, from my favorite Eastern European country. And he looks to be waaaaay younger than I am, so I'm not crushing on him, so I can look him in the eye and smile and not feel weird about it. Height and skill level perfect for me. Very comfortable dancing.
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What do Ashton Kutcher, Jackie Chan, and Scott Baio have in common?   
09:16am 14/02/2006
  I remember reading a Neal Stephenson book (I want to say Snow Crash, and no, I haven't read any of his recent acclaimed historical whatevers) that posited that in the future, police computers would analyze photos of fugitive criminals so their "wanted" annnouncements could include not only their vital statistics but also which celebrities they most resembled.

The future is now:

Analogia Star Estimator

Upload a headshot of yourself and it gives you three celebrities that look like you.

The results seem pretty arbitrary--the two photos I tried gave me Holly Marie Combs (who?), Elizabeth Hurley, and Norika Fujiwara, and Linda Evangelista, Cher, and Natasha Henstridge. Clearly, the technology has a long way to go. It might help if they had a larger pool of celebrities to draw on, too--it's woefully short on people of color* and non-beautiful people (for women, at least--the men's list includes a few character-actor types).

Probably the most fun thing to do at Analogia is to click the radio button for the opposite gender, hence the subject line of this entry. The other photo gave me Scott Baio again, Takeshi Kaneshiro (LOVE!!!), and Zinedine Zidane.

* Not that people can't resemble celebrities of a different race, of course--I used to work with a Japanese Gwyneth Paltrow.
11:05pm 12/02/2006
  Saw a man walking in Waikiki with a gray tabby cat draped over his shoulder in a fireman's carry. It was a real, live cat; it was just lying there placidly, staring at everything behind the guy. I really wonder what the story behind that was--it looked like he was taking his cat to the beach.

Buy-one-get-one-free sale at Goodwill this weekend, and I made out like a bandit with a Banana Republic striped pullover of the sort that cartoon French people wear, a black agnes b. (agnes b.!!!) T-shirt with a sailor collar (sailor collar!), a basic black mandarin-collared keyhole top to add a dash of Chinoiserie to absolutely anything, an unusual and fascinating geometric top made of layers of green fabric, a slinky gothy dress, two plain T-shirts to paint, an 1950s-replica skirt, a big pink thing that can function as a petticoat, a black slip, and three pairs of white gloves. Not sure what I'll do with the gloves, but they were cheap and vintage.

I think this was bound to happen sooner or later:

While I was waiting for a dressing room at Goodwill, a woman took a liking to the rubber-platform Mary Janes I was wearing and gushed, "Ooh, where did you get your shoes?"

She deflated visibly when I said, "Um, here, actually."
02:15am 11/02/2006
  Random babblings of the sleep-deprived.

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11:20pm 09/02/2006
  I largely managed to avoid joining the Japanese otaku cult of collecting little plastic toys that come with candy--there's a whole market built around highly-detailed figurines aimed at adults--but I kind of covet these. Itty-bitty plastic retro furniture--how cool is that? They're way overpriced at Daiei, though, and there's no guarantee of which set is inside--I'd hate to pay $7 and end up with the Southeast Asian or French rooms.

Most of their series are models of food (the "Dreamy American Life" series includes "Airline Food: Meatloaf" and "T-Bone Steak of a Shocking Size!") but I'm tremendously amused that the same company makes a series of miniatures called "OL Life," inspired by the lifestyle of Japan's working-until-marriage "office ladies." One OL set is called "After Five: Date," includes champagne and a mock Tiffany wristwatch, and is captioned, "For once, he made reservations at a restaurant. Suddenly he looks more handsome than usual."

Somebody could probably write a thesis on the underlying social messages of candy toys.
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The Super Bowl of Stupid Quiz Results!!!   
10:40am 05/02/2006
  The quizzes:
What Celebrity Matches Your Taste in Music?
What Artist Should Paint Your Portrait?
If Your Life Was a Movie, What Genre Would It Be?
What Temperment Are You?
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Iron & Wine/Calexico: A History of Lovers   
11:23pm 02/02/2006
  WitchiPoo at Snarkfest was able to ID my song for me--it's "A History of Lovers" by Iron & Wine and Calexico, and they performed on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson on January 26.

MSNBC article with song clips
Late Late Show performance video (which I haven't actually been able to view)

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Is it weird that I totally want to sing this at karaoke?
12:22am 01/02/2006
  Call me crazy, but this bit of humor bums me out beyond all reason.

Seriously, it makes me want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and sob my eyes out.

I've got a fair appreciation for dark and twisted humor.

I've seen unspeakably vile things on the internet and survived relatively unscathed.

I don't even like the Pillsbury Doughboy--I've always found him creepy and ghostlike.

But I think it's his expression of distress that I find so horrible.

I might also have some deep-seated issues about the abuse of anthropomorphized inanimate objects and/or corporate mascots--I've got hints of something involving Mr. Peanut lurking at the dark fringes of my memory.

And now I need to go fantasize about going dumpster-diving with Justin Theroux until I'm in my happy place again.
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Notes on my song search   
09:58pm 31/01/2006
  Last week I stayed up late and channel-surfed the late-night talk shows for background noise while internetting. I was hardly paying attention, but there was this one musical guest that did a song I really liked. The TV was too soft for me to hear the artist's name or even make out the lyrics very clearly, but I figured, "Oh, I'll go to the show's website and look them up later." Except I got sidetracked and never did, and now I can't even remember which show it was. All I remember:

I'm not actually expecting my friends to read all this and know who it is; these are more just notes for my own future reference.Collapse )
Quizzes: Cell Organelle & Daemon   
04:53pm 31/01/2006
  Heh. These are fun.

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05:53pm 27/01/2006
  Made a pair of satin pajama pants into bloomers last night.

satin bloomers

It was kind of a pain to do--lots of pinning and adjusting, and the material was slippery, but the style is actually fairly forgiving of mistakes like crooked hems, uneven leg lengths, and puckered fabric (inevitable, since I was folding a tapered leg several inches up inside itself.

Now that I know I can do it, I may try it again with other pajama pants in the future.


In other craft news, I decided that the grocery-bag crocheted tote was too small to be useful, so I've unraveled it and started making one big enough to hold my Anglo-American Cataloging Rules binder. This time, I'm not going to use the stretchy kind of bags--not only do they feel weak, they also tend to stick against each other and the crochet hook. The crinkly, noisy bags work much better. God knows how long it'll take me to accumulate enough bags to finish it, though.