Saturday, August 17, 2013

Buzzfeed: 17 Things Not to Say to a Short-Haired Woman

Buzzfeed: 17 Things Not to Say to a Short-Haired Woman.

Society seems to think it's strange for young women to cut off their hair. When I got a pixie cut seven years ago, I expected it to be surprising to people, but I didn't expect it to be controversial. Apparently it was, because I got a lot of comments about it. Most of the time people said, 'Men don't like short hair,' 'I think women look better with long hair,' or 'When are you going to grow it out again? It looked so pretty when it was long.'

I think the implications of these statements reveal that the speaker feels threatened in some way, as if short hair represents a rejection of men, or of straightness, or of conventional beauty standards. Sometimes maybe it does -- but why is that threatening?

In the moment, I could never come up with what seemed like a good-enough comeback to these rude comments. Wouldn't most people agree that it's inappropriate to tell someone that you don't like their haircut? That it's just not your style, and so they shouldn't wear it either? Why is it that manners go out the window when it comes to short hair?

To answer all those people over the years who implied that my hair was unattractive and that men wouldn't like it. . . :

Did you ever think that maybe I dress/groom for myself rather than for other people?

Or that maybe I'm looking for the kind of guy who doesn't care about my hair or -- !!! -- even likes it?  (And I have).

You might've liked my long hair, but I hated it. I never felt proud or happy with my hairstyle until I cut it off.

It doesn't matter how many times you imply that you don't like it:

I wear it short because it makes me feel beautiful, because it feels like "me." Your opinion has nothing to do with that.

Courtesy of canburak, Flickr

This 2005 poster was the inspiration for my haircut.

Have you ever had short hair, and if so, what prompted you to try it?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Crazy orange pants

Shirt - JC Penney
Pants - dyed hand-me-downs
My friend got these wraparound pants from a distant relative. We had so much fun trying to figure out how to wear them and at one point, had them wrapped around the chest like overalls. My friend thought about throwing them out or cutting them up into napkins, because these things really were ugly. But she let me take them home. I thought, if you're going to have super huge, crazy wraparound pants, they can't be beige. They have to be a crazy color to match. So as you see, I dyed them orange!
This is my sister playing with them before the dye job.
You can see here that the back half of the pants tie around the front, and then the front half ties in the back, like a sash or an apron.


Scarf - shop in Florence
Shirt - JC Penney
Cardigan - JC Penney
Skirt - Target
Shoes - Payless
Above is the only photo I could find of my favorite scarf. (Funny, because it gets worn more than any other item!) The pattern is pretty, the colors go with just about anything, and it's soft without being so slippery that it's hard to tie around one's neck. Best €5 I ever spent.

Monday, October 15, 2012

"Seminar," starring Jeff Goldblum

Stories Must Be Double-Spaced in 12 Pt. Font

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the play, Seminar, at The Ahmansen with a writer friend who was in several of my college workshops.

Seminar is a comedy by Theresa Rebeck about four young adults who pay $5,000 for a professor/editor to spend ten sessions with them, working on their manuscripts in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Jeff Goldblum stars as the professor.

Seminar is peopled with funny caricatures of the kind of students you sometimes find in workshop, mixed with real-life examples of Stuff White People Like. There is Kate, the rich, white girl who writes about women who like Jane Austen; there is Izzy, who writes good, “sexy” pieces and then proceeds to sleep with all of the men in the group (at the same time). Of the men, there’s pretentious Douglas, who talks in complicated abstractions. He’s a mediocre writer encouraged to go to Hollywood. When describing a writer’s colony’s landscaped grounds, he says it’s a place where there’s “a convergence of the interiority and the exteriority.” This becomes a running joke.The last student is Martin, who is quiet, shy, honest, and who ends up writing the best manuscript of all (he reminds me of Leonard, from The Big Bang Theory).

Not to confuse you, but their professor’s name is, actually, Leonard. He’s a sharp, foul-mouthed professor who thinks the only relevant stories are about HIV-positive amputee war veterans who beg on the streets in Somalia. That’s because he’s always going off and having near-death experiences in dangerous places–like Somalia.

Though there were funny lines, situations, and characters, I felt like it could have been even funnier with more characters.

It was well-written, but it could have been better written: near the end of the play, one workshop participant makes a choice that is inconsistent with her character When she is asked about the decision, she says, “People are complicated,” as if that is supposed to address and explain the inconsistency. This is a cop-out. Of course people are complicated, but as the playwright, it’s Rebeck’s responsibility to help us understand the complications of these specific characters. Having characters acknowledge a problem within the production only works sometimes–and this is not one of those times. This, plus the one set change, signalled a kind of odd shift in tone between the first 3/4 of the play and the last 1/4.

Seminar is a fun, sharp play that might have benefited from a minor workshop of its own.

Originally published online by Cliche Magazine.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides

Everyone knows sequels get worse the more there are of them, so this, the fourth of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, was rather a risk. Luckily, it was pretty good -- not even close to being as horrible as it had the potential to be.

For one thing, the tone of Pirates 4 is similar to the tone of the first film. Fun and lightheartedness is what the Pirates films are all about, and as gripping and funny as Pirates 2 and 3 are, they went off the deep end: they were so dark compared to the first one. We liked the first one because it was fun, light, and amusing. A lot of bad stuff happens to the characters in P2 and P3, but they could have included all that without making it so very sad. For instance, they killed off a lot of characters in P2 and P3 who didn’t actually need to be killed off -- it felt like they did it out of convenience, because they couldn’t figure out any other way to get them out of the storyline. If the writers had figured out a happier way to dispose of them, things wouldn’t have been so dark.

The filmmakers should be commended for leaving Elizabeth and Will out of it (not that Keira Knightley or Orlando Bloom would have returned, anyway). Their story was over, and I think that including them would only have made old problems and love triangles resurface. However, because they aren't in it, it's not as emotionally involving as P2 and P3. Ted and Terry's goal as screenwriters is to make the viewer feel the emotions they create through the story. This film didn’t do that as well as P2 and P3, even though in many ways it's a better-written screenplay. P4 does have its love story, of course, but it’s a cute romance rather than an epic romance. P4 makes you hope that the characters end up happy (you’re nearly positive they will), but P1-3 made you ache for the characters (things came a lot closer to not working out).

The execution of this movie was better than P2 and P3, though there are still some problems, such as excess characters: a big deal is made out of a Spanish explorer, but then he disappears for most of the story and becomes sort of a deus ex machina at the end. Also, there are zombies, and nobody in the story or in the theater seems to know why they’re there or where they came from. As a nitpicky pirate, I noticed one or two other things that were inconsistent with the previous films, but well, that’s something only I would notice.

The objective viewer rating: middling. Not Oscar-worthy, but it’s a good, fun summer blockbuster. 5 out of 10.
Pirate rating: Great. Lighthearted and populated with funny characters, both old and new. 7 out of 10 (with Pirates 1 being 10 out of 10).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Tourist

The Tourist combines sexy actors with beautiful locations, up-to-date surveillance systems, speeding, and shooting. It's a fun movie -- rather like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but with less character complexity.

Angelina Jolie wears rich, classic clothes that complement her beauty, sometimes emphasizing her lips and other times, her collarbones. She takes a train to Venice, picks up Johnny Depp's timid math teacher, and the takes him to stay with her in a luxurious hotel. Meanwhile, they are spied on by various London agents working with Interpol in an attempt to find Jolie's millionaire boyfriend (whom they believe is Depp).

Jolie is pleasing, though a little bland, as the femme fatale hopelessly in love with a criminal. Depp is charming as the math teacher and even manages to create character and distinction in his action scenes. Rather than stepping off his windowsill and stealthily running across the rooftops like a hero in any number of action films, Depp steps off his windowsill and runs across the rooftops as a math teacher would: with reluctance, with confusion, with humor, and with shy courage. Overall, there isn't much character development, especially since what the audience thinks it knows about the characters is overturned by a surprising twist near the end!

This film is fun because it is well-paced, exciting, and suspenseful. As a viewer, one probably won't care much about character development because it's not really expected in a Hollywood action flick. The Tourist should be seen in the right light, in the right environment: it's a fun caper, that is all.

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is a the first installment of the Swedish mystery/thriller series based on the books by tieg Larsson . It's about a troubled hacker, Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), and an investigative journalist framed for slander, Mikael Blomkvist (played by Michael Nyqvist) who together attempt to solve a 40-year-old murder mystery. "Girl" is an intense movie due to its subject matter as well at its pacing. There's not a moment that isn't either exciting or anxious. The plot, while engaging, is not especially original. One problem with this film is that a major plot point -- the graphic depiction of a tragic event -- is placed in an awkward point in the film's timeline; unfortunately, the placement of this horrific, heartrending scene makes it somewhat gratuitous.

"Girl"'s real strength lies in its characters, Lisbeth and Mikael. Mikael is a good journalist, a good detective, and a good man; he grows to care for Lisbeth, though she won't or can't receive and reciprocate the affection. Lisbeth is fascinating as the wronged badass looking for justice and revenge. It's not that nothing scares her, it's just that nothing is too violent or brutal to stop her from dealing out her brand of justice. Viewers will probably agree, however, that the rapists and murderers deserve her kind of justice.

(Note: This film isn't for everyone interested in mysteries -- it has a good deal of graphic, brutal sex and violence that will be disturbing to many viewers. Though most of this is justified, the most brutal scene may not be.)