“(1) Some do, some don’t.
(2) The differences aren’t very great.
(3) It’s more complicated than that.”—Bernard Berelson summarizing his 1964 book Human Behavior: An Inventory of Scientific Findings. (via sexartandpolitics)
“A man once said that the pinnacle of success is when you’ve finally lost interest in money, compliments, publicity.”—WWI pilot Eddie Rickenbacker via songwriter Todd Snider, “Money Compliments, Publicity (Song Number Ten)”
“You don’t hold any mystery for me, darling, do you mind? There isn’t a particle of you that I don’t know, remember, and want.”—Noël Coward, Private Lives. I will forever regret passing up the opportunity to see Alan Rickman in this role.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about personal style, crticial minds and the formation of both. Critical thinking and personal style aren’t that different, really: both take time to develop, and both are about sifting through information, opinions, and (in the case of style, at least) objects, and selecting or further exploring the ones that appeal to us. Both criticism and style take time and diligence.
Even though it happened more than thirteen years ago, I’ve been dwelling lately on the college application process. I went to a small Christian high school where there wasn’t much direction if you didn’t want to go to a state university or one of a handful of small Christian colleges. My parents both went to college, but neither had any experience with a full-scale college search typical of middle-class suburbia. We were lucky to know a professor at St. Louis University who reviewed my SAT scores & other factors and suggested schools to look into, among them Rice, William & Mary, Rhodes, and a few others. I ended up applying to something like eleven schools, all of which required different essays.
I look back on those essays a little shamefully, because, though no evidence exists, I’m sure they were pretty terrible. I was a bright kid who loved to read and write, and I had some marvelous advantages, but little challenges. Neither of my parents are intellectuals* and I went to an authoritarian high school, the sort of place that breeds lazy minds. I was all potential and little substance (and though I got into some of the schools to which I applied, I didn’t do well enough to merit scholarships).
On the other hand, I was seventeen. We (and college-admissions committees) expect so much from teenagers. I realize now that if I had been conversant with contemporary poetry, literary criticism, and the major schools of thought in twentieth-century psychology, I would likely have just been parroting information, just as I struggled to parrot the little I did know (literature-wise, mostly modernist and earlier, and no criticism whatsoever).
A couple of years I ran across this venn diagram t-shirt. I think of it often because I strive to avoid that attitude (though I slip up all the time). As I get a little older I have a much greater tolerance for people who enjoy “bad” pop culture, because, let’s face it, many of the people who advocate for indie culture are just doing the same thing: hopping on the same bus the people around them are taking. And that’s natural and doesn’t make anyone a bad person. And lots of us end up rejecting what we used to adore (as any former Ayn Rand fan will tell you). And that’s natural and doesn’t make anyone a bad person.
I believe that both crticial thinking and personal style are lifelong pursuits, and I have a long way to go with both. Oddly, I wasn’t particularly confident in my own design sense when I opened a design store, but I’m finally willing to say, hey—I have fabulous personal style. It just happens to be evolving.
“My father didn’t give me any advice on personal finance. It was considered a private matter. Almost like you don’t talk about sex, you don’t talk about family finance.”—Keith Nealy, as quoted by Marketplace. The rest of the story is pretty fascinating, too, but this part jumped out at me because this is how it was in my family, too. A tribute to dads’ money lessons | Marketplace From American Public Media
“It was just like being on a fast ride at the fun fair
The sort you want to get off because its scary
And then as soon as you’re off you want get straight back on again
But all love is strange
And you have to learn to take the crunchy with the smooth I suppose”—Billy Bragg, “Walk Away Renee.” This morning I told Brian, “Careful, I’m not a ride at the fun fair,” and this spoken-word song has been running through my head ever since, like a figment of speech…
I have been having the best thrifting luck recently. And lucky for you, I’m working on a new collaborative blog project to highlight some of my finds (among other things).
For now, I’ll just say: faux bois California Pottery serving set; craymazing vintage game pieces; dozens of slides from the 60’s (including a living-room wedding, a Midwestern college’s homecoming parade, and family portraits with fabulous cars); interesting Pyrex; old metal boxes of all shapes, sizes, and intended purposes…
“FAIL is over. Fail is dead. Because it marks a lack of human empathy, and signifies an absence of intellectual curiosity, it is an unacceptable response to creative efforts in our culture. “Fail!” is the cry of someone who doesn’t create, doesn’t ship, doesn’t launch, who doesn’t make things. And because these people don’t make things, they don’t understand the context of those who do. They can’t understand that nobody is more self-critical or more aware of the shortcomings of a creation than the person or people who made it.”—The End of Fail - Anil Dash
It all started with a bet. Sam and I had been hearing that some of our friends had turned on their air conditioners pretty early in the summer season. (April, even?)
We bet that the other one of us would turn on the air conditioner first.
We just installed a window unit in the bedroom yesterday. I’ll happily use window units in this apartment (it’s fairly small and enclosed), but I’ve gone without air conditioning a few years. Once you figure out how to cope (and it sounds like y’all have) it’s not terribly difficult. In fact, once I got used to it, I appreciated forgoing the shock of walking in and out of the air conditioning.
Things I'm collecting in jars (or: an update on my late-onset OCD)
Old buttons (separated by color)
Bottle caps (separated by brand)
Chess pieces (two jars: one for wood and one for plastic)
Swizzle sticks (by color)
Alphabet game tiles (Scrabble and others)
Dice (two jars: one for cellulose casino dice and one for regular black-and-white dice)
Typically the collections start in one jar before I start separating by color, shape, brand, or style. And yes, I now understand obsessive-compulsive disorder a little bit better. Sorting things is an orderly and calming task in an untidy world.
Okay, I love garage sales. Officially. Combine amazing people watching with getting rid of your accumulated junk with making a little cash with the ability to get a tan and drink beer all day and you have my idea of a good time.
So far we’ve had:
a couple of women who outweighed me by a minimum of 75 lbs each who both lamented the fact that my clothes were too large for them
A guy who fretted about purchasing CDs (25 cents each) without listening to them first. When we told him we didn’t have a CD player for him to borrow (!), he returned an hour later with a portable player and spent 20 minutes reviewing three CDs before purchasing one.
A lady who called her friend on her cell phone to say, “I’m at this garage sale and I want to look at a lamp, but this cat is chasing me…”
A grizzled gentleman who spent nearly $20 on my old jewelry
My friends Kristi and Kali are having garage sales next weekend and the weekend after (respectively), and I can’t wait to help them.
Meanwhile, I’ll be at our sale on 1st St. just east of Volutsia tomorrow from 7 a.m. until sometime in the afternoon. I’m bringing even more invaluable junk with me, too. Do stop by and say hey (and thanks to all my blog and Twitter friends who’ve done so already).
This is a brief interruption to the chubby parade to say thank you to everyone reading our humble tumbles.
As we’ve mentioned before, FYFC is made up of a chubby woman (who is the predominant poster) and the lean man who loves her. We’re both in our 20s and we live in Sydney, Australia.
We created this tumblr for two reasons:
We are both big perves
We were sick of never seeing beautiful, sexy, fat women featured in public media
FYFC was established a little under a month ago and we have way more followers than we could have expected (that’s not gloating, that is geniuine surprise). Even more surprising is that the majority of our followers are young women. The most popular posts are always about self-esteem and size acceptance: you guys love inspirational quotes and pictures of gorgeously imperfect women.
Obviously a lot of the female population would like to see their body shapes and sizes validated and celebrated publicly, and obviously this isn’t happening as often as it should.
Creating this tumblr has had an unexpected impact on me. I’ve become borderline obsessed with finding beautiful fat women, discovering fat artworks, and reading all the fat blogs I’ve found. I’ve become so passionate about size acceptance and I’m hoping to set up a proper blog soon (once I can think of a name).
So thank you for following us. Thank you to all the people who have said nice things about us - I’ve read them all, thank you thank you thank you. You’re all sexy.
Brian and I are hauling some stuff to our friends’ Jon & Jessica’s garage sale tomorrow. Here’s the Facebook event description:
FOR REALS ROCK BOTTOM PRICES on: Clothing Kids clothes! Toys Band T-shirts (Split Lip Rayfield, Softie, The Mess, Cardinals) Musical gear (guitar, drum, etc.) Video Games! (PS2 with Guitar Hero I,II & Encore, Sega Saturn) Art (local art) Art supplies Records, CDs, etc. (all genres) Computer components (monitors, hard drives, sound cards, etc) Books Kitchen gadgets Kitchenware Towels PLUS!!! other families’ junk!!!
I’m bringing lots of books, lots of clothes (sizes 12-20), a ton of shoes (sizes 8.5-10), a few hats, and an enormous amount of highly valuable miscellaneous crap.
The sale will be at 2812 E 1st at Volutsia, a few blocks west of Hillside and immediately west of College Hill United Methodist (we were going to do the sale last week until George Tiller’s funeral was scheduled to be held there). You can park in the lot at the church.
Earlier I stumbled across the Stanford University Sexual Assault & Relationship Abuse website. Plenty of lengthy books have been written about relationship abuse (some of which I’ve read), but the following sums up the most important points in just a couple of paragraphs, while nailing a few common misperceptions:
What is Relationship Abuse?
Relationship Abuse is a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner. An abusive relationship means more than being hit by the person who claims to love or care about you. Abuse can be emotional, psychological, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation, and intimidation. Abuse tends to escalate over time. When someone uses abuse and violence [or threats of abuse and violence] against a partner, it is always part of a larger pattern to try to control her/him.
It is not your fault
If you are being abused by your partner, you may feel confused, afraid, angry and/or trapped. All of these emotions are normal responses to abuse. You may also blame yourself for what is happening. But no matter what others might say, you are never responsible for your partner’s abusive actions. Dating abuse is not caused by alcohol or drugs, stress, anger management, or provacation. It is always a choice to be abusive.
How to follow the 'Curly Girl' method for curly hair
Do you suffer from curly hair that’s dry, damaged, frizzy, or uncontrollable? Are you open to trying something new? The curly girl method (also referred to as “no-poo”) is based off the book “Curly Girl” by Lorraine Massey. The nickname “no-poo” alludes to not using a sulfate shampoo, because of sulfates’ power to strip the hair of its natural oils. Once you take away the sulfates your hair can retain its natural moisture. Like many beauty regimens, the results vary from person to person, but this one just might work for you. So, say good-bye to the frizz and split ends and hello to soft, healthy curls!
I’m trying this to see what happens (my hair has always been in between curly and straight, sort of haphazardly wavy).
So far my head feels a little dirty but my hair looks amazing.
My wife and I went out to eat at the HyVee Grocery Store last night (a very normal thing to do in Iowa). While we were enjoying watching our little girl throw things on the floor and attempting to keep her from bothering fellow patrons, we drew the attention of an older couple. They asked us about her age and, noting that she was clearly not biologically related to either of us, about whether she was adopted or fostered. This led to a great conversation about their adopted daughter’s recent installation as a college professor, which led to our discussing how brilliant our child is. It was great. Just normal, and great. As we were walking away I turned to my wife and said, “You know what’s sad? Strangers treat straight people like that all the time, and this is the first time that has ever happened to us.” These are the little barbs, the thousand cuts that kill the spirit of same-sex couples. But we are moving towards equality: that day when we are no longer a curiosity, but simply another boring couple on a Friday night hot date at the grocery store.