So I'm sick.
This is irritating and frustrating, although part of me is enjoying the "guilt-free down-time" that comes with it.
the dishes are piling up like nobody's business, though, because neither of us is particularly healthy at the moment. Ghost is directing her energies towards finishing up for-pay leather work in the interests of making back the money she's lost due to missing work (the same bug + a doctor's appointment) over the past week or so. And I'm just a mess who can't go ten minutes without blowing her nose, apparently. :-P

None the less, We have emptied the last of the packed-stuff (er... sort of...) that was sitting on the living room floor, and it's now distributed appropriately around the house. And I've shifted some of the stuff in the boxes in the kitchen so that I was able to cart one box up to my Studio/Office (it mostly consists of lamps). The Studio is still a mess. I still have curtain rods to put up. And a mirror and a shelf (YAY SHELF!), and a slew of things to put away - ideally on said shelf - before it's a really functional space. None the less, I can at least move around in it, which is a help.

Still to do in The Studio:
Put up the curtain rod.
Hang the curtains.
Set up the rug (small, to go under the spinning wheel).
Empty the bags - one of winter woolies, a couple of bathroom stuff - into the appropraite recepticals.
Move the under-bed-storage-unit intot he bedroom and under the actual bed.
Move the beautiful - but fragile and ricketty - tea trolly to a different part of the room. Not sure where, though.

I have a list of books that I want to read this year:
Imogene Binnie's Nevada (novel - not sure what I'm going to make of the stream-of-conscious writing style, I'm a little worried it's going to read like Lisa Foad's The Night Is A Mouth which... I didn't like at all)
Dane Figueroa Edidi's Yemaya's Daughters (novel - though the prose is lyric & has a cadance like poetry - I'm looking forward to this one)
Casey Plett's A Safe Girl to Love (short story collection)
Trish Salah's Lyric Sexology (poetry)
Morgan M. Page's At Land (chapbook/novelette - I'm a little nervous about this one since psychological horror is absolutely NOT the kind of stuff I want to read[1])
Ryka Aoki's He Mele A Hilo: A Hilo Song (novel) and/or her Seasonal Velocities (poetry, short stories, & essays)[2]
Amber Dawn's Where the Words End and My Body Begins (poetry)
Leanne Simpson's Islands of Decolonial Love (short story collection - I went to a reading of this one a couple of winters ago)
Saleema Nawaz's Bone and Bread (novel - also: Hee! I went to school with her when we were little, and also when we were big. "I knew her when," etc).

I've got Morgan's novelette and Dane's novel on order - who knows when they'll arrive in the mail - and the rest I'll get ahold of as and when I can scrape together the cash to do so. But that's the plan. I can get Nevada from for about $20 (and Leanne's and Saleema's books for less than that), but Ryka's and Trish's books (in paperback) are both running at over $100, so... looking elsewhere for those, I think. I can probably find Casey's collection at Venus Envy, even if I can't find it elsewhere.
We shall see.

Links to Things You Should Read:
The Heat of Us: Notes Towards an Oral History - a short story in Uncanny Magazine that is absolutely glorious and makes me want to cry.
When Every Day is Judgement Day - Terri Windling on Perfectionism.
My New Year's Wish - Neil Gaiman on Making Mistakes (2012)

Anyway. So that's the world of reading.
I've started editing the first third of The Novel. I decided that it was probably a good idea to take a break from the content-production part in order to try and get the first chunk of Draft One tidied up enough that I could see the way forward a little more clearly.
It's almost 46,000 words long. Which is awesome, but also slightly frightening. The goal, right now, is to fix any obvious inconsistencies (stuff like "making sure I keep the names straight") and trim off 15,000 words of dead-weight, if I can manage that - ideally by combining scenes so that twice as many Relevant Events/Statements happen in half the space. Here's hoping.

Artsy/Creative Goals for 2015:
Get closer to finishing The Novel - ideally by finishing Draft One and handing it off to Ami_B for editing purposes
Write enough (and curate enough already-written) poetry to fill two manuscripts: "How to Cook A Heart" (an exploration of love, vulnerability, openheartedness, polyamoury, and emotional abundance through the lens/metaphor of cooking/growing/foraging seasonal food), and "We Are All Jezebel" (an exploration of the intersections of femme (empowered/autonomous queer femininity), slut (desire, lust, erotica), and sexworker (professional nake girl, pornographer, but also solidarity, and a bunch of other related stuff), with the idea that they'll be ready to perform, even if they're not much published, by June of 2015
Continue teaching myself to edit video with the goal of producing some sort of weird, dream-scape-y "music video" for a piece of poetry or similar
Learn how to make audio recordings using a cheap-but-serviceable mic and, perhaps, a looping pedal (or downloaded open source looping software) and try to do something arty and fun with it, ideally in conjunction with the above-mentioned video production
Sing more - both in terms of frequency and in terms of learning new repertoire
Grow food & make a garden - Not artsy, necessarily, but something that will feed me in more ways than one, so worth putting here none the less.
Figure out how to do contouring makeup, and get better at it

Anyway. So that's where things are at right now.


[1] Then why am I reading it? Because the author's an acquaintance of mine. Because if I want to do a show with her, it would help if I was familiar with her work.

[2] I admit, I'd prefer Seasonal Velocities, but it'll depend a lot on which one I can find at an affordable (read ~$20, ideally less) price.
amazon_syren: (Default)
( Jan. 22nd, 2010 12:07 pm)
Ottawa is full of artsy goodness! :-D

Tonight is the Bash'd opening night bash (and the Umi open mic).
Midwinter Night's Tale opens in a week.
And Cube Gallery just opened Cubesalon.

Whee! :-D

Also: I have figure modeling for Uta's class at Heritage College on Feb. 5th and March 12th. Go me! :-D
So I crashed was invited to tag along to Fiona's birthday party last night. And she mentioned seeing on youtube a fan-vid for Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance". A bunch of friends who really liked the song had got together and re-done the video in a no-budget way, with all the dance routines and everything.

The Original

The Tribute (with an extra 2 minutes and 40 seconds of screw-ups and saying "fuck").

The LIVE Version (because I love it when she does this).

I'm actually very impressed and quite admire their dedication. :-)

I think this is the first time I've heard his voice.

I think he has good things to say.

I think I need to take them to heart.

Over the next four hours, I need to shave my legs, wash (and do - many braids) my hair, and (possibly) search for lipstick that will look good on my mouth and still go well with scarlet. (This may be a futile search -- and I'm not sure I *want* a scarlet lipstick, anyway...).

We'll see what we can find. :-)

After that, it's over to James Street for my spa-afternoon, then to the photoshoot, and then - depending on how long this takes, either directly to Breathless for the dance workshop, OR back home to come up with some sort of dinner. (Which, really, would be a very, very good thing).
After the workshop is the play-party.
And, ideally, after the play-party is taking my Sara home with me for (a) more fun and games, and/or (b) sleeping the sleep of the blissfully exhausted together.

And then tomorrow is Brunch. :-)

Whee! :-D

In other news: Apparently I'm 55% Pure (according to the 500-question purity test).

The use of the term "ramming" in the context of anal sex? Is a little disturbing. :-\
Also. Test contains some very hetro assumptions.

Anyway. Time for a bath. :-)

- Amazon. :-)
amazon_syren: (Default)
( Dec. 3rd, 2008 09:50 pm)

A while back - when I was the demo-body for Sara's massage workshop - I met a fellow who loves taking pictures and is always looking for models (which he can pay, albeit not very much).

He's expressed an interest in taking pictures of my feet.

I figure: Hey, $20/hour (so about $20, if that), I get extra portfolio pics, and it'll probably be fun.

So. Negotiations begin.

In other news: My Susie Bright book (Full Exposure: Opening Up to Your Sexual Creativity and Erotic Expression) arrived in the mail today. Good timing, says I. :-)

- Amazon.
So, passing on a message from Seanchaidh.

The City of Ottawa is looking to basically cut just about all of the municipal funding for Arts and Culture (that local galleries, museums, festivals, theatres, EVERYTHING) down to zero.

What the fuck???

Arts and Culture are what make a city worth inhabitting!!! (Duh...)

I've written to Diane Holmes (my city councelor) about this.

You should write your city councelor, too!

Follow this link to find out what else you can do!

- Amazon. :-)
Passing this along from Hyel:

Orphan Works Legislation bill passed. Don't let it pass any further. More info here.

This bill relates to art and copyright laws.
Still playing with photoshop, still eating up space on your f-lists. :-)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This one, I turned into a 'bitch, please' icon, as well. Just 'cause I can. :-)

Two More Behind the Cut )

- Amazon. :-)
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand more pictures that I've played with.
Including some black and white ones for Ms Idioglossia. :-)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Three More Under the Cut )

There are two more, one of which I'm still not thrilled with, and one of which I haven't yet been able to save as a gif file.

Be that as it may, I really love those filter options. :-D
<*pretends to be artistic*>

- Amazon. :-)
Okay, so I picked up my collection of prints (eight) from Richard Austin today.

Here I present the three I liked the most - having mucked about with them in photoshop to my heart's (or at least my meagre ability's) content. :-)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This one was the easiest to tweak. Yay for the render button and the 'clouds' option. :-) I'm reminded of the album cover for Undrentide by the Mediaeval Baebes - you know, the one where they're all dressed up as forest nymphs and such-like? :-)

Two More Behind the Cut )

I hope you like them. :-)

- Amazon. :-)
That explains the unusual number of cops patrolling William Street at about 4pm.
And the splatter on Byward Market street. :-\
And the boarded up buildings on Murray... :-\
Hm... :-\

Fortunately, I spent the evening (with the lovely and brilliant Ami_B) being a Bride of Darkness and a DIY Gothic Geisha (maybe this is why the zombies left me alone? Protective eyeliner? Good to know...) and having my picture taken in the act. :-)

I was doing some amateur modeling for a new-in-town artist who's doing a photo collection of local goths.
Incidentally, I think he's still looking for models, so if you're an Ottawa Goth and interested, you can get in touch with him via the above link. :-)
(The show, when it eventually opens (sorry, no date at the moment) will be held at Gallerie La Petite Morte).

It was a lot of fun. I got to dance and vamp and generally be very clicheed.
Which was fun. :-)

Side note of nervousness: I'm a little worried, based on what he was asking me to do in terms of facial expressions as well as some of the ideas he had for possible things we could try (fake blood - which, on the one hand could have been awesome and fun but, on the other hand, is *really* clicheed), that he's going to end up presenting a rather one-dimensional image of the subculture.
We are more than capable of experiencing joy. We do smile, and we do laugh (and not always *at* people, either. ;-) So part of me is a bit concerned that the whole collection is going to be "Ooo. Look at those grim, scary, non-smiling people. Look at them not smiling. Aren't they grim and scary? Ooo!" Which would, I think, be rather sad.
(<*cough*> Look at me, weeping for my people... yada yada yada <*searches for stapler*>)

Moving on. :-D

Nitty Gritty stuff about clothing (because, y'know, that's just *so* important): )

The first set of pictures included a tigerlily and a set of green onions.
The second set included (briefly) my silver spiral parasol & my black lace (dirt cheap) fan

Whee! :-D

So that was all in good fun. :-)

My thanks go to Ami_B for being my body-guard/photo-buddy, for schlepping (with her wonderful, car-enabled husband, who also has my thanks) my suitcases of clothes and shoes and such-like both to and from the shoot itself (past zombies, no less), for doing up the damn waist cincher, and for giving me a really wonderful, wonderful hug on top of it all. :-D

Yay! Thank you! :-D

- Amazon. :-)
Torrain offers a very well-thought-out discussion of the line between 'sexy' and 'objectified' regarding comic super-heroines and women-in-comics in general.

It's in the comments.

Everybody go and read it, because it's brilliantly done. :-D
Happy Friday the Thirteenth! :-D

And Happy Birthday to my Dad. :-D


In other news, I am up <*gasp*> before 8am due to having the blankets stolen one too many times. I am, therefore, rather grumpy. Perhaps hot chocolate will help.

Also: Must take out the paper recycling. :-)

<*deals with recycling*>

So, I was reading some post the other night about the portrayal of super-hero women vs the portrayal of super-hero men, and OMG!HUGE breasts on an otherwise stick-like heroine being Really Offensive and stuff like that.

And the unavoidable comment on said post which went "Oh, get over it. Do you think the really-muscular portrayals of male super-heroes is any more realistic? Come on!" Etc.

So I have a couple of thoughts. (Hey, the hot chocolate is working! :-)

1) Disclaimer: I don't read a whole hell of a lot of comics, and the ones I do read, with the exception of Elf Quest (which apparently goes in for wasp-waists on everyone but does have a Thing for showing off the breasts, even when it's somewhat impractical/unlikely for a given character to do so), they tend to be random "Watch me laugh at my own subculture" comics like Johnny or Gloom Cookie or what-have-you, or they're Sandman.
So this is more or less a response to how/why people (women?) react the way they/we so-often do about super heroines with porn-queen-sized breasts.

Which brings me to:

2) In This Society (I use that phrase so much, but it's so helpful) girls grow up into women with the implicite understanding (dirrected at them by everything from their parents to their toys to the cartoons they watch to the ads they see on bilboards, to job-interview coaches, etc. etc. etc.) that their value as people is dirrectly related to whether or not *other* people (male people) find them aesthetically pleasing.
Boys, to my knowledge, do not grow up getting taught that their value as people depends entirely on whether or not specifically female people find them aesthetically pleasing[1].


3) It's really irritating/annoying/enraging to see the same damn thing being repeated (and unsubtly so) in the stuff we read for fun.
1) Comic-Book-Land (the vertigo-verse, or the marvel-verse, or whichever 'verse you want to occupy for the moment) is a fantasy land. People can fly. They can control the weather (oh, wait, people can do that here, too). They are unbelievably strong. Women can fly, control the weather, are unbelievably strong.
And yet these powerful women, who are (at least sometimes and, I hope, often) presented as well-thought-out, intelligent characters, are none the less - first and foremost - a set of big tits in a low-cut spandex top, meant to titilate (male) readers into taking that comic off the shelf and buying it.

Even though she's a smart, articulate, thoughtful (in theory), character who carries the fate of the world in her strong, capable arms. First and foremost, she's a set of Booooobiiiiies.

You follow me?

Anyway. Coming up to the guys now:

Yes, I know. Male super-heroes are *also* drawn really unrealistically.
The differences:

In the drawing of male heroes, it is their physical strength that is focused-upon/exadurated, not the body-parts that are specifically linked with sex in our culture.
- Interesting point one: Our culture tends not to want to be reminded that breasts make food. (It's so... bodily... Or maybe it's because it reminds us that breasts are there for something other than getting sexual attention. I dunno.).

Dressing a male super hero in a skimpy thong (at least while he's out doing his hero-ing job) is, as I understand it, seen as being in rather poor taste by at least the major comic publishing houses (isn't there a rule about not giving your comic heroes 'sackage'? Or something?).
Dressing a female super hero in a skimpy thong (while she's out doing her hero-ing job) is much, much less of a problem, to put things very mildly (Witchblade? Vampirella? Pick someone).
- Interesting point two: In our society/culture: more clothing = more power. Dressing a male in next-to-nothing involves loudly declairing that he has little to no power. Dressing a female in next-to-nothing is officially Fine, however, because (A) our soicety believes that females aren't supposed to have real power anyway, and (B) [this is a big one] what power they do have is based on their sexual desireablity.
- Question: RE: More clothing = More power: How many non-white male super heroes show skin? Is it more skin than the white male super heroes are generally showing? Is there a pattern here? Research and discuss.

Coming back to the physical strength thing:

Female super heroes can be strong enough to punch through walls, for example. But. Unlike the guys, it isn't for example, her arms and shoulders (that can hold up a collapsing bridge during Rush Hour, thus saving hundreds, even thousands of lives) that are getting focused on. It's her long, shaply, not-all-that-obviously-muscular, and probably very-unclad legs. Or the contents of her costume's push-up bra. Or her long, brushable hair. Or whatever.

Also: Continuing to talk about the guys again:

Even if someone *did* start dressing their male hero is next-to-nothing[2] is not going to do men of this culture much, if any harm at all. Why? Because dressing a woman in next to nothing, and putting the focus first and formost on her sexual desireability, totally reflect culturally prevalent attitudes about What Women Are Really For.
If you dress a guy in next to nothing and focus first and formost on his sexual desireablity, readers will giggle and titter and smirk, becasue "well that's not how this is supposed to work". They may be put off by the comic all together.

They may also - if I may take a stab in the dark here - wodner if the character is In The Closet about his (undisclosed or implied het) sexuality.


Because The Gaze (the assumed watcher) in our culture is almost exclusively presumed to be that of a (het, white) male.

Because anyone whose sexual-desirability/sexuality is being focused upon is, therefore, being focused upon by a presumed watcher who is (het-white)-male.

If the male character, therefore, is dressing in a way that draws attention to his sexual desirability -- he must be trying to get attention from the Gazer/Watcher who is (het-white)-male.

If the character is trying to get sexualized attention from males, he must clearly be gay. Right???

<*holy dripping with sarcasm, Lady Arachnia*>


Drawing a male character who is muscular and in a costume that, while showing off his impressive physique, actually does cover most, if not all, of his body, and drawing a female character who is large-breasted, small-waisted, wearing barely enough fabric to construct a wash-cloth, and possibly an expression that often straying inappropriately into 'quasi-post-coital-bliss'... Both of these reflect and reinforce our culture's Official Standpoints on men and women.
Men = Strong, Powerful Individuals.
Women = Existing to Take Care of Men's Needs (whether that's through providing sex, food, or laundry services, on demand...).

By doing so, the artist is effectively saying:
"Despite the fact that I'm portraying a fantasy world where male and female Supers are (A) equal in strength, (B) equal in intelligence and (C) extremely counter-cultural (for example), I, in my position of (usually) male privilege, don't have to give a fuck about the fact that I'm still reinforcing the culturo-sexual norms of the non-fantasy-world that I claim to be criticizing."

See what I mean?
Does it do anything useful to explain why we get so mightily pissed off about this crap?


Okay. :-)

And I now leave you with a link to a related picture. by Hyel. :-D

And a link to CounterPunch, which talks about the same sort of stuff. :-D

Yay! :-D

- Amazon. :-)

[1] To pick a really easy target: There's an Axe deoderant (or body-spray or what-ever) commercial involving one guy and three gals playing strip poker. The guy in question says "I got nothing" and the gals respond by saying "don't worry about it" and removing their clothing.
What's being implied, none-too-subtly, here is that "If a woman finds a man attractive, she will want to remove her clothing so that he can look at more of her".
I mean, really. Wouldn't a more realistic reaction on the part of three amourous ladies be anticipatory grins at the thought of seeing their favourite Hunk o' Manliness take *his* clothes off?
But, no. In this culture both males and females are taught that "man=watcher, woman=watched" and that, if a woman wants to be valued, she will (allow herself to) be watched a *lot*, she won't complain if the gaze dirrected at her is making her uncomfortable due to the fact that it's gazing at her only as a body (or a body-part -- nice ass, great legs, hot tits) because the alternative is to either (A) make herself completely invisible and completely value-less (worthless?), or (B) to "invite" attacks against her for having the gaul to demand to be seen (seen!) as more than just the sum of her body parts.
Wow, that footnote got long. :-)

[2] Example: There's a series of wedding gown ads that feature well-muscles, conventionally attractive and very definitely naked men litterally as props. They're seriously being reduced to the status of 'plinth' or 'urn' in these print ads.
Why this ad gets attention: Well, duh: "OMFG!111! Teh Naked!!! Hahahahaha!"
why this ad is way, way, *way* less harmful to guys than, say, your average Skyy Vodka ad is to gals: It is not reflecting and, thus, reinforcing culturally-prevalent ideas about What Men Are For or Why/How Men Are Valued in any way what so ever. At all. Do you understand? I bloody hope so.


amazon_syren: (Default)


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